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August Newsletter




Chairmans Comments


Dear Member

Firstly, I would like to thank our board and working parties for the huge amount of time and energy they have been giving to the initiatives which we have been progressing. It is re-assuring to work with such a great team! There is plenty to tell you about, so I suggest you make a cup of tea!


The last couple of weeks have been very busy for your board, to say the least. We had no idea that we would be, at the last minute, reading the breaking news that we were renewing the ground sharing agreement with Truro City for this season, and that there was to be an exclusive Gordon Oliver Award evening this Tuesday. Furthermore, that the Mayor had agreed to add to his Mayor's Forum Agenda the presentation of the new Torbay Arena plans by Clarke Osborne, George Edwards and Chris Lewis. This being only publicised just over a day before, giving your board, and I'm sure TUFC supporters, very little time to organise our attendance.


I must emphasise that your board have already been very busy, quietly and often 'behind the scenes', in pursuing our remit. Part of this is the regular and ongoing engagement with the very co-operative staff within the club, in supporting the good governance and sustainability of our much loved club.

We also, listen to, read and note the many views that we either receive directly, or through the various social media sites, of our members and the supporter base in general.


We have written a letter to Mr. Osborne and TUFC, previous to the Mayor's Forum announcement, requesting the following:-

1) Re the withdrawal of BBC Radio Devon's commentary coverage, was the club pursuing other alternatives (to particularly engage our exiles, disabled and significantly high number of elderly supporters as well as the community at large)? We are pleased to say that the club responded to say that they were initially addressing this 'in house'.

2) We pointed out the disappointment we, TUST, felt at the lack of supporter engagement re the Truro City groundshare arrangement, and the way it was announced. We requested more details, was this a previously arranged deal, or a last minute request from Truro City's chairman?

How would it impact on the TUFC staff?

3) We also asked for an explanation of the rationale behind the naming of the 'Gordon Oliver Award', which seemed rather curious given recent supporters' reactions.

To date, we have received no response to these last two questions.

We attended the Mayor's Forum, and we were able to ask two questions:-

1) Re the location and phasing within any business plan ie. Building enabling housing or the stadium/arena first?

2) Re clarifying the implications for the ownership of the freehold of Plainmoor and the freehold of any new stadium/arena.


The mayor 'took' the questions and did not really answer either, other than to say 'Plainmoor is not part of the presentation tonight'...'please do not talk about Plainmoor'. He did confirm that now' TUFC would not be moved from Plainmoor until any new stadium was completed'.


Our response was that we believed any proposal and business plan to move TUFC to a new ground would have to include the part that Plainmoor played within this plan!

John Ayres, BBC local news, interviewed Mr.Osborne and myself after the meeting. The clips used were, as usual brief, but I feel balanced and viewers would have gotten a flavour of the 'presentation'.  Enough is being said about this by those who attended on social media outlets.


We have received an invitation to discuss the plans from Chris Lewis, building project leader, ref. our board meeting minutes notes.


Previous to the mayor's forum, we had phone conversations with senior council members of both main parties, very soon after the news appeared. They are, as you know we've had previous meetings, as concerned as we are that the long term sustainability of TUFC is forefront in any future business plan.


We met with Kevin Foster yesterday, at his request. We have kept an ongoing dialogue with him over the last year or so. The meeting was very productive and he is also concerned that TUFC's long term future and ability to thrive is put at the front of any new plans. We are very lucky to have an MP who has witnessed one of the major football stadium failures, including loss of the football club's spiritual home at Coventry, due to misguided business ownership and council decisions, he voiced his extreme concerns at the time. We are keeping in touch.


I would encourage you all read to last Sunday's Non-League Paper, page 4. Gregor Robertson, who is a freelance reporter, and whose articles appear in other national papers, has written a full page investigative article on Torquay United and the proposals for a new stadium. He has been following this story for a long time.


The TUST brochure for outreach to the local area and business fraternity re the 'value of TUFC to our community is nearing completion. We have already signed up 6 corporate members in respose to our advertising on our sites! We welcome them on board and hope to flag up their services to our community.


Due to our regular structured meetings with the club, and engagement with national organisations, we have been able to reach the point where we are hoping to launch our PLFF supported Fanszone and pop up hubs shortly, hopefully at the home match v Hampton and Richmond on 25th August.


We are also trialling the Matchday Ambassador scheme, you may have met one of our members at the Bristol City match already. It was an enjoyable experience for all! The purpose is purely to welcome, advise and assist supporters if required, at our home games, and to help the club be a little more supporter friendly. We wish Plainmoor and TUFC to be a place people want to come to and enjoy the unity and friendship of supporting our local football club. We can still all have our own views, and disagree on things, well that's football after all!


PLEASE CONSIDER joining our matchday ambassador team, we are organising it jointly with the club and hope to do it on a rota basis for say between an hour or 45 mins. before matches. It was fun on the first trial run...this will also involve supporting the new Fans zone.LET us know via our usual address and we will explain it to you further.


Thank you for reading all of the news and for supporting us, please get in touch either on matchdays or via our email address.


Lets hope for a much happier season on the the pitch, you, and the 'Yellow Army' really do deserve it!


Michel Thomas

Chairman


Board Meeting Monday 30th July 2018


The last few weeks have seen a number of significant and surprising developments at our club which were discussed at an emergency meeting of the TUST board on 30th July.


TUST had already raised its concerns with TUFC over BBC Radio Devon’s plans to cease live coverage of most games, the unexpected announcement that Truro City will be groundsharing Plainmoor this coming season and the reasons for the naming of the new Gordon Oliver Trophy.  The club has announced its plans to provide commentary on home games but its response on other matters is awaited.


The main item for consideration at the board meeting was the announcement of the plans for a new stadium and associated developments as presented by Clarke Osborne at the Mayor’s public forum on 26th July.


After much discussion the board agreed following actions:


  • To draw on Supporters Direct experience by requesting their assistance in appraising the proposed plans for a new stadium.

  • For the purpose of the above, direct Supporters Direct to any existing evidence relevant to their report (eg; research conducted by members of TU related forums).

  • Assist Supporters Direct in any direct involvement they may have with TUFC or the media when raising concerns on behalf of the club’s fans.

  • The Board welcomes the assurance made by Clarke Osborne after the Mayor’s Forum to involve TUST as an essential voice in the on-going consideration of the proposals for the new stadium.  We have subsequently had further contact from Chris Lewis, the project manager, to arrange a meeting with the TUST board.

  • This is not an indication of support for the current proposals.  The Board will keep an open mind until much greater detail including evidence to support the long-term sustainability of the project is provided.

  • Any discussions must be open and shared with the TUST membership.  The Board will not entertain any suggestion of confidential meetings or any offers of hospitality as this could damage the Board’s credibility and in turn that of TUST itself.

  • To continue to work closely with Torbay’s MP, senior elected members of all parties and interested local community organisations to ensure that they are kept informed of the proposals and supporters’ concerns about them.

  • To continue to build relationships with the local and national media to keep them fully informed.

  • To continue to foster good working relations with employees of TUFC to support common interests such as the Premier League Fans Fund project and matchday volunteers.

The board will continue to keep a close eye on off-field matters as this exciting new season kicks off and will keep members informed of developments as things progress.  


Changes to the Board


We are delighted to announce that Rob Burkitt has been co-opted onto the Board of Directors as Head of Communications.  Rob has been working hard with our digital team in the last few months to set up our new facebook page and new website.  

Matthew Gorman our treasurer is stepping down from his role, officially at our next AGM.  He continues to be a valuable TUST member and will be there to offer us any assistance, if or when required.  His passion for TUFC, his knowledge and experience are much valued assets towards supporting our remit at TUST.   Ali Bryant will be taking his role on as treasurer, and Matthew will be close at hand to oversee the handover.  We wish Matthew well in the future and thank him for all of his hard work for the TUST.


Digital Team Update


The Digital Team have been working hard to increase their online presence and improve their social media sites.

Alongside our marketing team a TUST brochure is being produced in print and online to promote the value of Torquay United to Torbay and its businesses.  A new corporate membership scheme has been launched with new members already signed up.  This is a great way to advertise your business.  For an annual fee of £50 your business name will be displayed in the digital and printed brochure and will be promoted via our social media platforms.

If you require any further information please visit our website www.tust.co.uk for more information or email us at info@tust.co.uk.


New Email Address


Please note our email address has changed to

info@tust.co.uk


Legends Evening


September 7th 2018 Time 7pm (tbc) No. 10s Restaurant, Plainmoor

TUST are excited to be hosting a 'Great Escape' legends evening on Friday 7th September to be held at No 10s restaurant at Plainmoor. Come and meet some players and Manager of our legendary 'great escape' at Barnet in our final game of the season 2000/2001

Colin Lee and Kevin Hill have already agreed to attend and we are hoping that other local squad members will be there.  If anybody has contact with any of the players from the Barnet Great Escape squad please let them and us know.

More details will follow soon.


When Saturday Comes


Supporters Direct have partnered up with When Saturday Comes (WSC) to offer an exclusive offer to all members of supporters trusts, a fiver off the annual subscription. This means you can get the best of independent football writing delivered to your door every month for just £28.60.

We caught up with editor Andy Lyons to introduce the magazine and why it has been so popular over the past 30 years....  When Saturday Comes (WSC) aims to provide a voice for football fans to express their opinions on all aspects of the game. 

Since the first issue was published in March 1986 – as a photocopied,hand-stapled production – the public image of football supporters has altered considerably and WSC has documented all those changes. From the football fanzine boom and growth of fan movements in the late 1980s, through the presentation of fan culture on mainstream TV programmes a decade later.

We have covered the broadcasting revolution – what football has done for television and vice-versa; the drastic changes to the football spectating experience, from crumbling terraces in the 1980s to the high-tech all-seat stadiums of the 21st century; and how clubs that were once locally run businesses have become part of a global corporate empire.

WSC has always addressed an informed readership. It is the magazine for people whose regular experience of football includes going to matches, even if the kick-off time has been rearranged to suit TV. We set out to to show that people follow non-League football and those who watch top-level clubs can share a common outlook 

We want to see clubs being answerable to their support through having fan membership on boards and we reject the growing commodification of supporters –the way they are treated simply as consumers rather than participants. Many of the problems in the scene from which WSC emerged are still relevant today. We believe that the motivations and justification of government, police and football authorities in how they treat and control fans should always be challenged 

Above all, we also believe that maintaining a sense of humour is a vital part of any football supporter’s outlook. Losing isn’t the end of the world and winning isn’t everything. It's about the ritual, the fascinating back-stories and side-stories, the personal angle. It’s about how individuals come together to enjoy the game as a collective.

Please email enquiries@supporters-direct.org for the exclusive code




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