A group of Yeovil Town players and staff have apologised to supporters after being pictured on a night out in the wake of the Glovers relegation from the EFL on Saturday.
Yeovil’s sixteen-year stay in the football league came to end thanks to their 2-2 draw with Northampton.
Photos of players and staff including Alex Pattison, Courtney Duffus, Daniel Ojo, first-team coach Paul Terry and analyst Yiannis Iosif were shared on the social media page of a bar in Taunton only hours after the final whistle at Sixfields.
Once Yeovil fans spotted the pictures, they soon took to social media to question why the group appeared to be enjoying themselves so soon after relegation was confirmed.
I’ve defended these players a lot this season, but the fact they went out partying the night they got relegated is an absolute disgrace. Given that numerous fans were in tears in the away end after the game, they should have been ashamed, not in the mood to celebrate #YTFC
— Ben Winfield (@BenWinfield98) April 28, 2019
After investigating, Yeovil Town said it has spoken to those involved, and the matter has been dealt with internally.
Those involved have now issued a joint statement: ‘We feel it’s important that we apologise to the club and supporters. Given the context of Saturday’s result at Northampton and the painful nature of relegation, it does not show any of us involved in a good light.’
The statement went on to say that the decision to go to a bar was ‘naive’ and added. ‘Whilst I’m sure many can understand us wanting to unwind and temporarily forget about what had been a difficult day, the photos taken especially don’t portray our intentions in the right manner, and we can understand how it looks.’
‘It pains us to think that our actions on Saturday night have brought into question our commitment and empathy, as we can assure all those in association with the club that we are gutted with the season’s outcome.’
It is not a crime to go out for a drink after a terrible day at work; we have all probably done it at some point.
However, relegation from the EFL stirs powerful emotions in supporters and for the players and staff involved not to recognise this shows a complete lack of awareness and a disconnect between players and supporters.
Yeovil now needs to rebuild, many of the players involved will leave, but for many fans, it is a lifelong emotional commitment to the club which will see them stick with the Glovers in the National League.
Yeovil Town now requires a manager and team who can reconnect with the fans, only then will they be able to move on and mount a challenge to get back in the EFL.