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Torquay confirm departure of their manager and name ex-EFL player as interim replacement

Torquay United confirm the departure of their manager Gary Johnson and name ex-EFL player Aaron Downes as the interim replacement.

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

The news comes as fans fear for the future of Torquay United with chairman Clarke Osborne announcing he is standing down with the club going into administration.


Gary Johnson leaves Plainmoor by mutual consent.

Following discussions between both parties earlier today, Johnson’s departure as United manager was agreed by mutual consent.

Upon leaving the Club, Gary issued the following statement.

“After discussions today with the Football Club, we have mutually agreed that I should leave Torquay United with immediate effect.

“I have enjoyed most of my five and a half year tenure, but given the current situation, both parties agreed to part ways. I thank the players, the football staff, the office staff, as well as the Chairman & Directors for their support over this time.

“I wish the Club all the best for the future.”

Everyone at Torquay United AFC would like to place on record its sincere thanks for all of Gary’s hard work during his time at Plainmoor.

The Club would also like to announce that Assistant Manager Aaron Downes will now take charge on an interim basis.

Torquay United manager Gary Johnson had hoped that his side could build on their goalless draw at Farnborough in midweek after they lost their their previous five National League South matches, and kept just their second clean sheet since mid-November to stay 11th.

“We wanted to win the game, of course you do, but it was important not to lose – we had to stop that losing run for the confidence,” Johnson said.

“I’ve just said to the lads we’ve had a few games when we’ve been a bit down afterwards, so we’ll build from here,” he told BBC Radio Devon.

Home fans had been organising a protest at the direction of the club.

Johnson said that his team – who have won 10 of 17 games at home this season – had what it takes to get back to winning ways at Plainmoor after conceding four goals in each of their past two home defeats by Slough Town and St Albans.

“We’ve had a bad run of two or three games since the Dover win and this was one of our first points away,” he added.

“We’re in that top three or four of home wins, it’s just that we couldn’t turn our losses into draws.

“It’s not disastrous at home and I’m hoping we can get back to winning ways for the fans and see where we end up.”


Fans reacted as Torquay confirm the departure of their manager Gary Johnson and name ex-EFL player Aaron Downes as interim replacement…

@thetobywatson: “I thank the players, the football staff, the office staff, as well as the Chairman & Directors for their support over this time.” No mention of the fans, speaks volumes.

@HarrisonThorne5: The only way he would leave when there was no money left. 18 months to late.

@BobbyBamber: This is too much news for today!

@SimonDGould: Jeez it’s not a great day for Torquay is it 😢

@MaxCochran11: Bloody hell what’s happening today 😅 can we just come back tomorrow and think this all over again

@w4rrrr: Thank fuck for that, could have done it respectfully 2 years ago you entitled hobbit

@VirBritannicus: What a mess! When my father was on the board, we had no debt and a team that beat Tottenham at Plainmoor. We need people with common sense who can actually do basic maths. Don’t let the council take away any lease we have on the ground, because they have always hated TUFC.

@YellowM25: Thanks for the good times Gary. But you should have grown a spine when it was clear we were being burned from the insidE

@Jonny___Jones: George Edwards next please 👍

@Reddenhill1999: If only he’d gone over a year ago. Certainly one of the reasons the club is in such a dreadful state. Player performance and home attendances will now likely improve!

@Jamie_E135: Final job in football was to get into bed with a bunch of crooks and put a club out of business. Hope you enjoy your retirement.

@ChrisMoleGolf: Took the club down, wouldn’t resign because he was hanging on for his payday, took the money for mutual consent when the club goes into administration. Can see where his son gets it from.

@Easters86: The moment his payoff wasn’t happening he goes. Got in bed with the property developers until there was no property to develop.

@cricketcelt: I know this is the least of their worries right now, but genuinely impressive how he managed to torch his own legacy there like he has done

@upthegulls94: No big pay check and he’s off, imagine my shock. Good riddance. What a shame, never had to end like this.

@RachelVillavox: “what no dosh? I’m off too!” paid up and gone. club in turmoil. an owner without an ounce of interest in football and a manager who couldn’t give a flying fig. up the Gulls 💛💙🙏

@WingsFan625: Well done, Johnson, for taking the club down to County League Football and bankrupting it with a massive wage bill. Hold your head in shame, and never enter any football club again.

@zakbrownz: Owners next please, killing a community club. I might be an Argyle fan but even I wouldn’t wish admin on my worst enemy! Sickening

@Weather40297744: No owner or manager in a single day, that’s going some, just need a waterlogged pitch next.

@Jj25_MFC: Let’s be honest. Downes as manager will be even worse. Should’ve gave it to Deano or Asa

@JoeTune8: 50% of me is extremely happy but now we are left with no owner or manager what next???

@mw883: “It’s as much my club as it is yours” until there is no money. Showing your true colours now. Good riddance!

@Joe_Ugs: Good riddance

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