The TUST February Newsletter

Chairman’s Comments

Dear Member,

Firstly, a huge thank you to those of you who braved the elements to attend our Special General Meeting on the 30th January. It proved to be both positive and productive, in enabling the board to expand further on what we have been doing, and as importantly, to receive much good advice and many helpful ideas from our speakers and members. Also, thanks are due to the many exiles and members who were unable to attend for your many emails of support and interest.

Secondly, we would like to thank Exeter City Supporters Trust who accepted our invitation to attend and gave us their thoughts and advice, based on their experiences as a supporter owned club. It was particularly appreciated that their chairman Nick Hawker and club board member Elaine Davis were part of the group of four who came down to talk to us.

Thirdly, but not least, I would like to welcome Chris Fleet on to our board, he will add a great wealth of experience and contacts to our team and we are looking forward to working, on your behalves, together with him.

Finally, thank you to all of you have joined us in the last several weeks, and those of you who have renewed your subscriptions or updated your details.

Numbers do talk!

In the last few weeks, we have continued to be busy and I will just mention some of the main activities we have been involved with….

MEETINGS with Adrian Sanders and the Liberal Democrat councillors’ group; Julien Parrott (Mayor’s executive) and our MP, Kevin Foster.  All were very supportive of TUST and appreciative of our main aims, ie. the long term sustainability and good governance of TUFC, remaining within the local community. In the medium and the short term, they are as concerned as ourselves re the lack of clarity re the possible plans that Mr.Osborne might have for our beloved club. They were all clear that there was no evidence yet of any plans to build a new stadium, and much doubt as to where it might actually be viable. Furthermore, they were of the opinion that the freehold of Plainmoor should remain under the ownership of the Council, and that a full consultation with all concerned would be necessary before, and if, any change of ownership was ever considered. We continue to keep ourselves prepared to respond to any possible future developments, in the near or long term. We cannot rule out any of four or five scenarios, positive or otherwise, these you can guess as well as we can!

MEMBERSHIP has continued to rise steadily.. Our thanks goes to the 9 volunteers who distributed TUST information leaflets to just under 1500 fans at the Bromley game. Our special gratitude goes to Mr. Paul Bastard who has undertaken to continue this work at the last two away matches, at Macclesfield and Maidenhead. He has reached out and talked to the ‘Manchester and London exiles’, in the ongoing cause for unity!

VOLUNTEERS have been forthcoming in pleasing numbers, both via our feedback forms and by email to our address.  We have been working through the list of generous offers of time and have been meeting a number of people.My sincere apologies if any of you have been missed-it has been a positive, but time consuming task… Please get back in touch with an email and I WILL get back to you.

Our first aim has been to establish a professional IT/Social Media team in order to improve our communication systems with you. Ali Bryant, who is our communications officer, has put together a very effective team and our thanks goes to them for the work they have done already in the last few weeks.  We are now building a second team to work towards outreach to the TUFC community, marketing and advertising our raison d’etre. More of this soon.  My thanks goes to all of you who have offered to become more involved, and the ex players who have offered their support. In a small or larger way, it all counts.

LONDON EXILES were met at the recent Maidenhead match by three of your board members. Robin and I enjoyed a very comfortable and cordial trip up and back with the TU Travel Club, and a great away performance to boot. We met Matthew Carepenter, our TUST secretary, and a number of away supporters, both in the Bell Inn and inside the ground afterwards. It was great to catch up, and receive their support and ideas.

BBC has taken an interest in our concerns and given us some ‘air time’, primarily through the BBC.CO.UK Sport online article that was published by Brent Pilnick recently. A couple of us have also been interviewed on Radio Devon, more generally, before and after recent home matches. The earlier ITV South West interview was cut very short, for various reasons,although I did have a statement I had carefully prepared beforehand….the media is a learning curve for me!

TUFC/TUST joint monthly meetings continue, with our next one being currently arranged for the next two weeks or so.  As well as developing and providing a platform for structured dialogue between the club and TUST, we have been able to highlight individual fans’ requests to the club and have been working on a joint initiative, news of which we will be able to publish shortly, pending an official joint press release  approval by the PL Fans’ Trust.

The last two results have been disappointing to say the least, let us hope that over the next week, the team regroup and come out stronger for our next home game against AFC Flyde. We DO really need the points right now, to keep the Great Escape alive. how many times have I said that before in the last 50 years!?

Kind regards

Michel Thomas
TUST Chairman


Welcome to our Digital Team

Tust are pleased to announce that a new digital team has been added to our organisation.  Ali Bryant, our communications officer was delighted to recruit five volunteer TUST members who are keen to work on maximising our online presence. A big thank you to James Murphy, Rob Burkitt, Chris Morrish, Luke Hunter and Louis Walsh for volunteering their services.

The team have already started, in creating a new facebook page for the TUST  and are now keen to actively promote and raise awareness of TUST throughout social media.  Please visit and like our page, and share to as many people as you can.

Our next project will focus on improving the TUST website, updating the layout and content and making changes to the payment options to give our members more flexibility in their choices.

We hope that with a constant online presence, TUST will reach out to many more supporters in joining us.

Our Aim –  to ensure the long term sustainability and good governance of Torquay United Football Club.

Welcome Chris Fleet

Hi My name is Chris Fleet and I am delighted to have been co-opted onto the board of TUST.

I was a previous chairman of TUST during our very early years of 2006.  Prior to that I was chair of the old Supporters Club where we acted as a link between the club and the fans. Not long after the formation of TUST we had a situation with Chris Roberts wanting to buy the freehold of Plainmoor and build a new stadium!  Sound familiar? I like to think we had a significant role in helping our club during that time.

In more recent years I was becoming increasingly aware of the need to keep TUST members not only up to date, but very much involved with TUST activities.

Previously we spent time contacting local businesses and residents to gauge their opinion of TUFC and their role in the community. My personal opinion is that any football club is about more than just football, it is about the community as a whole, and if we can get local businesses and residents to see that we are a well organised and reasonable bunch of people, with a broader view than just TUFC we could gain a groundswell of support throughout the bay and beyond.

I very much look forward to putting my efforts into helping you the membership, as well as future members, spread the word that football is more than just 22 people kicking a ball around, but a way of life for some, a job for many and a vital part of our community.

Warmest regards

Chris Fleet

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I simply live and breathe Football and have supported Torquay United since 1989. I am a season ticket holder on Bristows and a Trust member. I set up TorquayTalk in 2017 to give true supporters a voice and honest opinions on their club.

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