Date: 3rd June 2015 at 7:40pm
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It’s being reported that the group bidding to take over Torquay has pledged to lodge a five figure sum with the league in time for the annual general meeting to prove that they can meet the necessary financial obligations.

Should that happen a deal could potentially get over the line next Monday, but that is far from confirmed.

The BBC quote Dean Edwards, consortium front man, as saying.

‘We’ve agreed with the present board that we will stump up the bond to give assurances to the Conference. But that’s not to say that the deal is finally over the line. But if I get the phone calls in that I’m expecting, I would like to look at Monday as when I can get behind the scenes, as I need to get to work.’

He went on to say.

‘This place is on the life support machine, and the finger’s on the switch. At the moment it’s 75% that it’ll stay alive and it’s 25% that it will fail, but that 25%, even if we did stay, could be critical. It’s time for the Torquay public to stand up, save their club and save their community. I know it’s what they want. Give me a call if anybody’s prepared to invest in Torquay United. We need the money. This club can be saved and it can become a viable business, it just needs its house putting in order and it needs to be run properly.’

Of course one fall out from this irrespective of a takeover it seems is what happens to our youth academy which has started to bare fruit in terms of the youngsters getting their first team spurs under Chris Hargreaves towards the end of the 2014-15 season.

The Western Morning News have both Head of Youth Geoff Harrop and acting chairman Bill Phillips had already been quoted on that score, but the TUST chairman has now had his say.

Beginning with Harrop, he said he was still at the club but obviously with the uncertainty surrounding our youth ranks he, like others, do fear for their jobs.

‘I would like to carry on the work which is just starting to bear fruit here. We are waiting to see who takes over, but jobs in the youth department are under threat. But my main concern is that we have five full-time staff in the academy, all with kids and mortgages to pay, and everyone is very worried.’

Relegation from the Football League in 2013-14 impacted on the funding we were entitled to to develop our own, but Harrop is keen to see our hard work on that score not suddenly undone.

‘Due to the first team`s inability to stay in the Football League, with the loss of funding that brings, we are going to pay the price. Of course we`re not happy. This is the best that the youth at Torquay United has been, certainly while I`ve been here.’

He also confirmed that he was receiving offers, including from Premier League clubs and he said it was ‘no secret’ he’d been approached by Yeovil as they are restarting their academy set up next season.

As we know in a meeting with TUST, Phillips has called on them to make our youth set up a future objective, but TUST have released a statement saying that they don’t believe it is the remit of a Supporters’ Trust to prioritise youth set ups, or any other part of the club under the terms of their formation.

Michael Golbourne is quoted as explaining.

‘TUST wishes to make it clear that it has made no offer to financially support any of Torquay United’s ongoing activities. This includes the club’s Academy and youth development programme. TUST naturally appreciates the merits of Torquay United striving to retain a properly-run elite performance youth programme for young players aged between 8-18. However, TUST does not consider the overall funding and operation of such a programme to lie within its remit. Nor, furthermore, does it easily sit within the wider purpose and objectives of a supporters’ Trust. This also applies to other day-to-day activities which are ordinarily the responsibility of a professional football club. Other than Torquay United coming under the ownership, or part-ownership, of TUST, this will remain our policy irrespective of whoever owns the club.’

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