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Martyn Starnes: Yeovil Town excited by Championship challenge

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: February 20, 2013

Yeovil Town chief executive Martyn Starnes

Yeovil Town chief executive Martyn Starnes

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Yeovil Town chief executive Martyn Starnes is hoping to face fresh challenges next season – because it would mean that the Glovers have been promoted to the npower Championship.

The Huish Park outfit are fifth in League One after Swindon Town’s 3-1 win at Tranmere last night took them top. The Glovers are just a point behind Swindon in a tight top six off the back of a club record sequence of eight straight wins.

It means that with 14 games remaining, the Somerset club could reach English football’s second tier for the first time in their history and Starnes is hoping that current form continues and the club achieves its goal.

“We’re in football to be successful and to win things if we possibly can, so when we’re put into a position where that’s a possibility to get into the play-offs at the very least, then it’s exciting,” Starnes said. “We’re looking forward to this run-in towards the end of the season.

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“It’s an interesting dynamic, because I think that everybody knows that there are some massive differences between the Championship and League One, in the same way that there are big differences between the Premier League and the Championship. But we’re experienced with things that are thrown at us, and we’re confident that whatever is thrown at us in the Championship that we would deal with it.

“Clearly there are going to be some challenges, but we are looking forward to it. We hope that it will happen.”

Indeed, the financial differences between the Championship and League One are huge with television revenue alone significantly more in the Championship.

With more supporters going to games, bigger away followings, greater exposure and more corporate opportunities, it is a mouth-watering prospect for the Glovers, who only missed out on promotion to the Championship in 2007 after losing to Blackpool in the League One play-off final.

However, if Yeovil do win promotion, then things are certainly going to have to improve at their quaint Huish Park headquarters.

“Yes, we would have to improve facilities,” Starnes said. “Fortunately there is more money coming from the central distribution to the Football League from the Premier League, which would help us finance that. But it would still be a challenge, though one that we would relish to be quite honest.

“There’s a lot of football people that work at this football club, both off the field as well as on the field. We’ve been in it for long enough to know that when the opportunity is there to make progress and get promoted, then you take it. We’d manage the consequences thereafter.

“We’re more than capable of doing that. If Gary (Johnson) can continue and the lads can continue this terrific form that we’re in, then we’re going to be there or thereabouts. If we can get into the Championship then it would be a wonderful day for Yeovil Town.”

If Yeovil do go up, Johnson can expect a bigger budget than this season’s.

“I wouldn’t like to say by how much,” Starnes said. “We would have to crunch our numbers for Championship football and see where we’d be. Clearly we’re a club that tries to work prudently with our finances and work within our resources, and we’d have to continue doing the same thing.”

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