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Fans fear for future of Torquay United as chairman stands down and club goes into administration

Fans fear for the future of Torquay United as chairman Clarke Osborne stands down and the club goes into administration.

The Gulls have been under the ownership of Osborne since 2016 when he acquired the club from a consortium led by fans.

They currently sit 11th in the National League South, and have only won one of their last 12 games in all competitions, with fans wanting Gary Johnson to go.

Clarke Osborne has today issued the following statement regarding TUAFC:

“It is with sincere regret that I advise that circumstances beyond my control during the last five weeks have brought me to the position that I am unable to continue financial support for the Club and I have today filed on behalf of the Directors, an intention to appoint an administrator to the Club and Company.

The prospect of creating a new stadium and commercial facility was the driver for the investment, the excitement to deliver something truly transformative for the Club and Torbay.

I would reiterate what I have said many times, that Torquay United is blessed with fantastic, passionate support and I am sorry that we have not been able to reach our goal for the Club and fans, despite significant effort and investment.

I would like to pay a personal tribute to both George Edwards and Mel Hayman who have worked tirelessly for this Club, voluntarily. Their selfless time commitment, and passion for the Club has been limitless despite some very difficult headwinds.

I also pay tribute to the entire Torquay United family, the Team both on and off the field of play, for their hard work, commitment and in some instances on a voluntary basis.

The financing of football in this country is precarious and can only thrive in the lower divisions where there is either a close collaborative relationship with the local authority, it is a trophy asset or is backed by substantial local individuals and businesses. I believe that it needs a fundamental overhaul of its financing structure, rights distribution in the lower leagues and recognition that many clubs represent a fundamental part of the local community and its visitor attractions. Ambitious Clubs should in my opinion be given special status in their push to bring in investment, develop facilities, bring spend and employment to the local economy.

I have today stepped down as Chairman of the Board.

Now is the time for the Club, supporters, Torbay community and the Local Authority to come together and continue on the path to the future. I will assist a change of ownership where and when invited. The detailed plans, proposals and related data for the proposed developments will be gifted to the Club as will any time requested to assist in the future planning and development.”

Following Clarke Osborne’s statement confirming the intention to appoint an administrator, the club wishes to update supporters.
The administrator’s role is to try and stop TUAFC being wound up (liquidated) by finding someone who will take the club on.

Administration doesn’t necessarily mean the end for a football club. In recent years, clubs such as Southampton and Huddersfield have entered administration Both clubs have come out of the other side of those financial difficulties and have enjoyed time back in the top flight recently.

We appreciate there are a lot of questions that supporters will have, and in order to assist the club will have a question and answer article which will be updated on a rolling basis, this will be live as soon as possible.

If you do have any questions regarding the administration process then please do not hesitate to email yellowarmy@torquayunited.com and we will forward these onto the administrators and the FAQ will be updated.

The administrators will work tirelessly to achieve a sale and new investment. If you are in a position where you feel you could invest singular or as part of a group then please contact the administrator.

What can our supporters do to assist?

Well yellow army we need your assistance more now than ever!

Please come and support your team, whether that is buying a match ticket, meal in the restaurant, replica kit, pint in gulls nest, sponsoring a game, support boots and laces during the week, or a donation to the club.

All money that the club raises from now on will be used solely for operational purposes to assist in the running of our club. Legal and administration fees will not be paid from the operational cashflow.

The staff and the players of this club need your support and togetherness, and by being together we stand the best chance of this football club of 125 years history finding new owners.

What better way to encourage investment into our club than for us to get Plainmoor rocking on Saturday for our game v Aveley, get behind the boys on the pitch and show the world how important our club is!!

Fans fear for the future of Torquay United as the club goes into administration…

@callum1512_: Football has a massive ownership problem, the silence about Torquays situation has been frightening.

@JoshBirky96: Anyone know how much a season ticket is at Buckland?

@AChester32: Thoughts are with #TUFC. Being a #PAFC fan I understand how how this situation is and I hope you come out the other side better off.

@RichHeesem: Right it’s a terrible time at the moment. But we have to believe together we can get our club back. #tufc keep fighting and believing Yellow Army

@IsaacHUFC: This is very sad to see. Two fantastic clubs have now announced they are struggling financially. Hope everything can be sorted soon like.

@CleaveO: As always it is the supporters who suffer because of crap owners and mismanagement off the field. Putting rivalries aside wish them well in finding new buyer.

@Tufc_Ultra: There you have it folks, clubs gone, I do hope those who have been pushing for this has a plan in place because we are now in a position where the club will be no more, Plainmoor is gone #tufc

@michael_coy: Never believed a word he said from the beginning, has never, ever had the clubs or fans interests at heart. Banging on about a new stadium, we have one of the smartest little grounds, arguably, in the country. Unbelievable how this is still allowed to happen #tufc

@Brano1979: All the best #TUFC x hopefully 🤞🏼 the club resets & starts again… been crazy to watch the watch last few years

@mattthejag: Was a disaster from the off, never had the interests of the club or fans at the heart.

@meggaherne: He’s ran the club into the ground, realised he can’t do f all to save it and now gets to walk away unpunished whilst the club is in one of the worst situations possible. It’s a disgrace. He shouldn’t be anywhere near football again. Very worrying times.

@Bluearmypfc_: Assuming this means -10 points, then Torquay are 4 points off relegation into the Southern League 🤯

@Gilberdan28: Looks like another decent club taken to the brink by a poor owner. Feel for the fans #tufc

@BobbyBamber:
Reminder: @TUSTCOYY
Now more than ever

@KiwiGyms: How can someone be allowed to run a club into the ground and run off paying no consequences for their actions?

@McFarlane_Carl: This part of your 5 year plan?

@CallumHallett6: Shite for #TUFC this. A positive that Clarke is stepping down as he’s been dreadful for them, hopefully they find a buyer so can start progressing back up the leagues. Possible point deductions, maybe next season at this stage.

@jamesallan163: Game over. It’s been coming and I am absolutely devastated. Losing a football club is heartbreaking. This won’t be pretty. CC @GaryLineker @maxrushden @bglendenning please guys, get a mention out. Our beloved club is finished

@Torquayhopper12: Bad owners kill football clubs. There needs to be a system that ensures these parasites get held to account and prosecuted

@Easters86: RIP 🙏 Probably the best thing that can happen though. Get GI and Johnson gone new owners and save the club. The council not giving into them and handing them plainmoor is ultimately the only thing that has kept the club alive and he’s realised he’s not getting it.

@tanyahills: Well it’s good but bad. Good cause he didn’t bother at all but bad cause we could fold

@ferrarif50lover: I am still at Torquay United and Clarke Osborne is not. Just Edwards to go and I can tick off another group of useless losers. Cheerio.

@BakersTweet: Torquay United are currently in free fall in what feels like a managed decline.I don’t know why people buy football clubs if they just want to kill the football club,Well I do know but I just try and have more faith in humans. This piece gives some clarity on the situation. #TUFC

@mwoodgates: What’s happening at Torquay really saddens me as an Exeter fan 🙁 I miss the local derbies we had.

@Jonny___Jones: Fire up the Phoenix. We will never die. #tufc

@LRbix: Very sad situation for Torquay United and their fans as well, class set of supporters when they were at the GIS last season! I hope this get sorted out quickly! 🙏

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