Dom Roman – @DomRoman
Monday was an Away Day to forget. Playing at a very non-league ground brought home to me how far my team has dropped, watching a lame game of football with skill at a minimum, whilst trouble spilled over from a Yellow Army increasingly frustrated and angry over years of under-achievement. For a number of reasons it was an embarrassing afternoon to be a Torquay United supporter. My company was good (Rich, Karl, Caroline and Luke), that was the only positive of the day plus a few pints to numb the pain!
This is where we find ourselves as a club – constantly in crisis and hitting new lows. Owned by a person who doesn’t have our best interests at heart and somebody who knows nothing about the game of football; football-wise ran by a GM who hides away from supporters and a manager who cannot inspire or motivate his team, whomever is on the pitch. It’s no wonder we are a shambles.
But what can we do as supporters to help us past these dark times? Flares on the pitch and coffee/tea thrown at the manager won’t do the trick and those people do not represent the Yellow Army I know, sure we’ve had a disastrous few years but there’s no excuses for that behaviour. The reputation of the club has suffered enough without that and I hope this worrying trend of trouble doesn’t continue.
Owers Out is the most common shout but the bigger picture points to Clarke and his total grip on the club. Without CO, there would be no Harrop or Owers – no fit and proper owner would employ them after all. How can we somehow remove this man from our club and replace him? It seems impossible at the moment, he’s making £300,000 losses, but looking long-term at profiting from the stadium plans – meaning he’ll hang around as long as the plans have legs. The mayor has certainly given him cause for optimism, backing his plans despite how ridiculous they sound.
It feels like any hopes for a massive TUFC overhaul and reclaiming our club from this man, mainly rest on the Supporters Trust and what they can achieve. The Trust have been working bloody hard and are involved with a number of worthwhile projects, plus meeting with the club on a regular basis. One person they haven’t come really close to is the guy who holds all the cards. One meeting with CO appeared to give the Trust some optimism, but in reality they remain distant with the man and he’ll want to keep it that way.
The softly softly approach from TUST has got them so far, but at some point battle lines may need to be drawn. The club is being dragged down and the Trust could be pushed to feverishly oppose the club for the greater good of the fans. The Yellow Army have not yet backed TUST to the hilt because they do not see a challenge being made to Clarke, if a challenge is made then the membership will inevitably increase.
We might need action and I hope chairman Mike is not afraid to take it. Community ownership with local businesses heavily imvolved could work, though it’s a massive project and needs luck as well as judgement to go in your favour. The alternative is Clarke and his supporting cast continuing to make bad footballing decisions, failing/unwilling to communicate and engage with the fans, and pushing on for this stadium whether we like it or not. No fans forum, no local board members likely.
Something has to change and if we want to have a club for future generations to enjoy and a club we can be proud of, that change is not just #OwersOut it’s #OsborneOut.
On the pitch all I see is a team of individuals at the moment, they’re not fighting for each other and they’re not responding to the manager. Where’s the belief and character? I’m hearing promises things will improve from the likes of George and Asa, and I’ve heard them all before. Give us some goals lads, being rubbish in the NLS is agonising!!