Torquay United facing bleak future as owner announces he is pulling backing for the club

Torquay United is to go into administration after its owner said it can no longer afford to back the club.

Clarke Osborne announced the bombshell news today throwing the future of the Devon club into serious doubt.

The club, which is currently 11th in National League South, has been owned by Osborne since 2016 when he bought the club from a fan-led consortium.

Osborne has also announced he is to stand down as club chairman.

He said: “It is with sincere regret that I advise that circumstances beyond my control during the last five weeks have brought me to the position that I an unable to continue financial support for the club and I have today filed on behalf of the directors an intention to appoint an administrator for the club and company.

“The financing of football in this country is precarious and can only thrive in the lower divisions where there is either a close collaborative with the local authority, it is a trophy asset or is backed by substantial local individuals and businesses.

“I believe that it needs a fundamental overhaul of its financial structure, rights distribution in the lower leagues and recognition that many clubs represent a fundamental part of the local community.

“Ambitious clubs, should in my opinion, be given special status in their push to bring in investment, develop facilities, bring spend and employment to the local community.”

He added: “I would reiterate what I have said many times, that Torquay United is blessed with fantastic, passionate support and I am sorry that we have not been able to reach our goal for the club and fans, despite significant effort and investment.

“Now is the time for the club, supporters, Torbay community and the Local Authority to come together and continue on the path to the future.

“I will assist a change of ownership where and when invited. The detailed plans, proposals and related data for the proposed developments will be gifted to the club as will any time requested to assist in the future planning and development.”

Clarke Osborne bought Torquay United at the end of 2016 from a consortium of local business people.

A firm owned by Osborne controlled more than 90 per cent of shares in the club and he was the sole director.

His business Gaming International also owns Swindon’s speedway team and his plans for a new stadium for the club never materialised.

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