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Best Betting Sites UK / Latest Non League News / The Rise & Fall Of Yeovil Town - What Next For The Glovers?

The Rise & Fall Of Yeovil Town - What Next For The Glovers?

Publish Date:15/04/2024
Fact checked by: James Leeland

Founding Of The Club

Yeovil Football Club was founded in 1890 and shared its ground with the local rugby club for many years. Five years later, the current club was founded and named Yeovil Casuals and started playing home games at the Pen Mill Athletic Ground.

Making A Name

The club came to national attention as a 'giant killer' during the 1948–49 FA Cup in which they defeated Sunderland 2-1 in the fourth round, in front of a record home attendance of 17,000. They were defeated 8–0 in the following round by Manchester United.

Application for Football League

They won three titles as Southern Football League champions between 1955 and 1973. Yeovil Town submitted multiple applications for election to the Football League during this time, and in 1976 they narrowly missed election by a few votes.

The Glovers were original members of the Alliance Premier League, the newly formed national non-league league, in 1979. They were relegated to the Isthmian Premier Division in 1985. After winning that title in 1988, Yeovil joined the Conference again.

Two Steps Forward & One Step Back

Yeovil had their best-ever Conference finish in 1993, coming in fourth. Graham Roberts, a former player for Weymouth and Spurs, was named manager in January 1995, however, The Glovers were relegated back to the Isthmian League not long after. In 1997, Yeovil were promoted back into the Conference after winning the Isthmian League with a league-high 101 points.

Terry Skiverton was signed as a player by the team when Colin Lippiatt took over as manager for the 1998–1999 campaign. After Gary Johnson was appointed manager in June 2001, Yeovil won their first major trophy, the FA Trophy, in his first season in charge after defeating Stevenage Borough 2-0 at Villa Park.

The following season, Yeovil Town were promoted to the Football League after winning the Football Conference with a record-tying 17-point margin, scoring 100 goals, collecting 95 points, and going undefeated at Huish Park.

Numerous elite players were on their team; a few of them went on to play in the Premier League. Darren Way, Chris Weale, Lee Johnson, and Gavin Williams—who moved to West Ham United—are among the notable players.

Start Of The Football League Era

The Glovers advanced to the FA Cup third round and ended eighth in their first year before falling to Liverpool 2-0 at home. Yeovil were then promoted to League One after finishing as the League Two champions with 83 points the following season.

Bristol City hired manager Gary Johnson from Yeovil at the start of the 2005–06 campaign. Steve Thompson, his assistant, took his post, with Kevin Hodges designated as his number two. Russell Slade took over as head coach of the first team at the end of the season. They advanced to the FA Cup's fourth round once more, where they were paired away against Charlton Athletic. They lost 3-2 to the Premier League club.

Playoffs

Yeovil qualified for the League One playoffs by finishing the 2006–07 season in fifth place. After losing the home 2-0, Yeovil defeated Nottingham Forest in the semi-final, winning the two legs 5-4 overall. In the final, Yeovil and Blackpool faced off at Wembley Stadium, but Yeovil lost 2-0.

Yeovil's 2007–08 campaign was less successful; with 52 points, they finished 18th in League One. Russell Slade managed Yeovil into the 2008–09 campaign until resigning in February 2009. Club captain Terry Skiverton was named manager until the conclusion of the 2009–10 season, with Nathan Jones serving as his assistant, following one game in which assistant manager Steve Thompson served as interim manager. Yeovil was kept in League One by the pair.

Return of Johnson

Yeovil were spared relegation in the next two seasons thanks to Skiverton and Jones, but a subpar start to the 2011–12 season forced a manager change. The club announced on January 9, 2012, that Gary Johnson would be re-appointed with Terry Skiverton serving as his assistant. The Glovers proceeded to secure their safety once more, concluding 11 points ahead of the relegation zone.

In the 2012–13 campaign, Yeovil had their best-ever start, scoring 10 points in their first four games. Yeovil qualified for the League One playoffs after finishing fourth in the 2012–13 season. They defeated Sheffield United 2-0 at home to advance to the final on May 6, 2013, after losing the first leg 1-0 at Bramall Lane. They then defeated Brentford to secure promotion to the Championship for the first time in their history.

Championship

Yeovil spent one season in the Championship and, despite enjoying memorable victories over Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday and Watford, suffered immediate relegation back to League One

Start of the Downfall

The following season, the team's difficulties persisted, despite earning a lucrative FA Cup tie against Manchester United, which they lost 2-0 in spite of a "gallant challenge".

Ultimately, Yeovil's manager Gary Johnson was replaced by Paul Sturrock after the club was relegated a second time, making their League Two return after a ten-year absence.

After the 2015–16 season got off to a bad start, Sturrock was fired, and Darren Way took over as interim manager before being appointed permanent manager.

Yeovil ended the campaign 19th in the standings thanks to Way's ability to guide them to safety.[23] With an 8–2 loss to Luton Town on the first day of the 2017–18 season, Yeovil tied their record for the most severe Football League defeat during Way's managerial tenure. However, Way also led Yeovil to their greatest Football League victory, a 6–0 victory over Newport County in September 2018.

The club also enjoyed another FA Cup tie with Manchester United in January 2018, however, they lost 4–0 to Jose Mourinho's side.

Return to Non-League football

Yeovil were relegated during the 2018–19 season after a 2–2 draw with Northampton Town, ending their 16-year tenure in the EFL.

In June 2019, Darren Sarll was introduced as the team's new manager, and in September 2019,  a group led by Scott Priestnell and Errol Pope purchased the club

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the 2019–20 National League season was abruptly halted on April 22, with the Glovers sitting fourth in the standings.

Uggla Debacle and Relegation To The Sixth Tier

The public firm SU Glovers Limited, led by former England rugby union player Paul Sackley and Matt Uggla, was reported to be closing the deal to acquire the majority of Yeovil Town Football and Athletic Club Limited's shares in February 2023.

The news that previous chairman and principal stakeholder Scott Priestnall would be leaving the football club was finally (and prematurely) revealed.

The team's terrible decline was confounded when they were relegated to the National League South in April 2023 .It was announced on May 2, 2023, that the SU Glovers purchase would not go through. On May 13, 2023, a local business, the Hellier Group, acquired Yeovil.

What Now?

Led by the experienced Mark Cooper, Yeovil secured promotion at the first time of asking, massively dominating the National League South. The Glovers are one of the best-supported clubs in Non-League, and with the right backing, don't be surprised to see Yeovil back in the EFL in the coming years.

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