It continues to be a difficult time for Gulls fans, but most have remained loyal to the cause. With hopes of another Great Escape really on the edge of the precipice right now, we are still waiting for a clearer picture of our owner’s future business plan and in particular, clarity on his stated five year plan incorporating a new stadium proposal.
However, we welcome the news that the club will remain full time next season, even if we are relegated to National League South in an effort to secure an immediate return to the National League. That said, I personally believe it will not be an easy task to bounce straight back given the competitive nature of the next league down and the fact we will be seen as a “big club” with a “big stadium” so most visitors to Plainmoor are likely to treat the visit as their cup final and will no doubt raise their game accordingly. We also welcome the news that Mr Osborne intends to invest capital in order to improve the Seale Hayne training ground and structure.
On a separate point, it was sad to note the departure of Craig Hutcheson from his role as Manager of the Torquay United Community Sports Trust (TUCST). Craig has been an integral part of the Sports Trust and will be missed. We are currently waiting to see who his replacement will be, but in the interim wish Craig every success for the future.
From our recent discussions with the club, the TUST board have been encouraging Mr Osborne to engage further with supporters and the local community in clarifying more specifically his intentions for the club moving forward. There has been some media communication, but we continue to push for more detail so that we, the supporter base and the local community can provide constructive feedback as to what may or may not be possible or viable in sustaining the long term future of TUFC alongside his own interests and aims.
The key word is “clarity”. This would then enable us at TUST, as an organisation, to also consider more purposefully which best route we can take in ensuring that TUFC’s long term future as a local club is more secure, with good governance. At this point, as always it will be a discussion for you to be involved in. Remember, for all major TUST decisions every member has one vote!
TUST Volunteer Meeting
This has been re-arranged, after interruption from ‘the Beast from the East’, for 7-8pm, on Wednesday 18th April at Endeavour House, 228, Higher Union Street, Torquay.
The meeting has been organised to gain involvement and feedback from volunteers with regard to several different projects we are instigating at this time.
We would like to thank all the members who have already volunteered, either through the feedback forms at the SGM or otherwise. Everyone should now have received personal contact from either myself or another member of the TUST Board.
If any other members would like to join us at the above meeting and find out more about ways that they might be willing and able to help us with our initiatives in supporting our club, please do not hesitate to get in touch via the email@example.com email address. Any additional attendees to the meeting will be welcome.
TUFC / TUST Joint Meetings
These have continued on a monthly basis since the beginning of the season. They have been constructive and have been an ongoing developmental project.
Part of the Structured Dialogue agreement we entered into with TUFC, based on national supporter guidelines, involved developing our relationship together with senior representatives of/or the owner of the club in order to be able to discuss items as ‘critical friends’.
Furthermore, the aim is to find grounds for unity, as the recently successful PLFF Grant award application exemplifies. This will enable us to plan jointly a community outreach programme over the next year. More detailed information to follow, but TUST will be establishing a united Steering group together with TUFC, TSCT and TUOSC to lead this initiative.
TUOSC New Chairman
I met last week with the new Chairman of the Official Supporters Club (Bob Etherton). The meeting was very constructive and provided an opportunity for us both to discuss the objectives and plans for our respective organisations. Importantly, we agreed upon a more united approach moving forward in working together for the benefit of the club. We see the Premier League Fans Grant as a catalyst to initiate this greater unity and the TUST Board look forward to working with Bob and his team moving forward. We wish him well in his new role.
We are in the initial stages of planning a campaign to reconnect people in the local community and local businesses in outlining the importance of our club to this area and why we consider it to be important to secure a sustainable and successful long term future within our locality.
This will be one of the items we will be looking to discuss at the Volunteers Meeting.
Meeting up with Exiles
We have already had a TUST meet up for our exiles at the recent away matches with Maidenhead and Leyton Orient. We are repeating this at the away match with Chester this Friday in the hope of reaching out to our more northern friends. We will be pleased to answer any questions, listen to any suggestions and generally update you on anything, as you wish.
Note: -The Gulls won both games at Maidenhead and at the Os………can we make this three times lucky?
Social Media / Digital Group
A note to remind you that our new Facebook page is developing, as is our Twitter account
The access details are as follows:
We encourage you to visit these, as well as relying on the members’ email newsletters and updates we send you.
Our recently formed Media and Digital Group are working hard behind the scenes in an effort to also upgrade our website and general online presence. As part of the project, we will be reviewing various areas including membership fee options which has been mentioned previously.
A renowned reporter and ex footballer from the national media (Primarily
the Times) is currently compiling an investigative article on the past few
years, the present and the possible future of Torquay United and has
recently contacted us. He is aiming to do likewise with other stakeholders
of the club. It is evident he has already done a lot of research!
In recent times the reporter has been covering other clubs around the
country who have for various reasons fallen on hard times and have been
struggling in terms of sustainability etc. If we receive a heads up as to if
and when it will be going to press etc., we’ll of course let you know.
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
Some of you may be familiar with changes due to take effect towards the end of May over how organisations hold and process the data of individuals. We hold very limited information regarding our membership and hence do not expect any significant changes in processes. However, your TUST board are currently reviewing this and may well be in contact with you again over the coming weeks should any action be required.
I think that’s all for now! As ever, please feedback to us with any thoughts or comments you have via firstname.lastname@example.org