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Torquay United FC Chairman publishes statement on takeover & stadium plans

Torquay United Chairman, David Phillips, released a statement late last week providing fans with an update on the possible takeover of the Club and the redevelopment of Plainmoor or a new build stadium on an alternative site.

The statement reads as follows:

We entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Riviera Stadium Limited (a subsidiary of Gaming International Limited) on 24 March 2016 in relation to their potential takeover of the Football Club. The MOU set out that whilst RSL carried out their due diligence on the Football Club, it would provide funding during this period. We would not have, or enter any negotiations or discussions with a third party in relation to the future financing or sale of the Football Club.

RSL have completed their due diligence and have concluded that for the Club to survive and flourish under their ownership, they require confidence in the position with Torbay Council for Torquay United to have the option to purchase the freehold of Plainmoor, and advance a potential site away from Plainmoor for a new football and event arena. The new stadium will be designed to satisfy the needs of Torquay United and the local community. The Board are working hard with Gaming International (as one of the possible purchasers of the Club) and the Council, to secure the necessary assurances that will allow Gaming International to proceed.

If we are unable to do this by the end of the month, we will open up the search for new investors.

We are fully aware that delay and uncertainty is potentially damaging to the Football Club. We are therefore urging the Mayor and Torbay Council to confirm their intentions in relation to the football ground as a matter of urgency to enable us to move forward.

We, the Directors, fully appreciate the frustration expressed by some of the fans in relation to their concern over the lack of information and progress. As to the first matter, we are subject to a confidentiality clause in relation to the MOU and its contents. There is nothing untoward in that regard and it is a standard in this type of matter. As to delay, we share that frustration. It has been envisaged that when we entered into the MOU, that the transaction would have been completed some time ago. However, clearly, a potential buyer has to complete their due diligence and investigations before committing themselves to the Football Club.

Questions have been raised as to Peter Masters’ involvement with the Club and Gaming International. I confirm that Peter has no formal interest in the Club whatsoever, save for the Ground Share Agreement between the Club and Truro City Football Club. The National League has been supplied with a copy of this Agreement and is fully aware of the position. I also understand that Peter is not in any way involved with the Gaming International Group.

To be the Club that we want to be, and thrive in the League, we need a new home that can provide the facilities for our supporters, and the commercial revenues necessary for the Club to flourish in the next 25 years. We have the opportunity to achieve this, and we hope that our supporters will get behind the Club to help get us over the line.

– David Phillips, Torquay United Chairman.

Stows Bench. Image courtesy:

Torquay United’s home ground, Plainmoor: Stows Bench. Image courtesy: Football Ground Guide.

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Image of David Phillips courtesy Torquay Herald Express. Torquay Untied Chairman, Dave Phillips address the fans at the final whistle – Photo mandatory by-line: Gary Day/Pinnacle – Tel: +44 (0)1363 881025 – VAT Reg: 183700120 – Mobile:0797 1270 681 – 23/04/16 – SPORT – Football – National League Premier – Torquay United v Barrow, Launa Windows Stadium, Torquay, Devon.