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Fan Zone 24/11/2023




Away from all things Torquay United in the football world it has been an interesting week. Where to start? It has to be with Everton being docked 10 points by the Premier League for breaching their spending rules.

An independent commission found Everton guilty of accruing losses of £124.5m over a three year period, the threshold was £105m. The points deduction, which sends the club into the relegation area, is not the end of the story. The punishment is just the start as Leeds United, Nottingham Forest, Leicester City, Southampton and Burnley made an application in May to become party to disciplinary proceedings against Everton with a view to claiming compensation.  The door is now open for those named clubs to sue the Merseyside team for tens of millions of pounds.

This is all at a time when current owner Farhad Moshiri is in the middle of selling his ownership to American group 777 Partners. And to add to the mix, Everton are having a new ground built at Bramley-Moore Dock.

Everton are, of course, appealing the decision. That the Premier League has acted with this punishment must send out warning bells to Chelsea and Manchester City who are both under scrutiny for financial irregularities. Manchester City have 115 charges against them which could lead to demotion.

These high profile cases would appear to add strength to the introduction of an independent regulator as announced in the King’s Speech last week.


All this comes on the heels of controversy over the use of VAR. This season has witnessed a series of matches blighted by VAR decisions affecting results. It seems every Premier League match this season has had problems with VAR with, earlier this month, the London derby fixture between Spurs and Chelsea seeing two red cards and VAR disallowing or overturning five goals.

There are many within football saying the whole VAR system needs resetting and starting again.  Others would like it abandoned altogether.

The biggest criticism is the length of time it takes to reach a decision far longer than similar systems used in Rugby Union and cricket. As one pundit said, “Some amazing goals have been disallowed this season as a result of VAR spending ages and drawing lines and watching endless replays. It’s killing the joy and excitement of the game.”


Now, what about this from League 2 Mansfield Town’s Nigel Clough son of that late outspoken Brian? The manager, with Mansfield second, has told his players not to celebrate goals. The current trend in football is for knee slides or when a crucial match winning goal goes in often the shirt comes off despite knowing a yellow card will follow. And over the years there have been all manner of celebrations by the goalscorer and his teammates.

All this is now a thing of the past at Mansfield with Clough saying, “I don’t really see the point of celebrating goals when the game is still in the balance…” Once the other side kicks off again Clough argues “You need all the energy you have got to get the ball back to try to preserve your lead or increase it.”

Is Clough being a spoilsport? Or are goal celebrations part of the match day entertainment? Send your view to:


Back in September TUST, as part of its community remit, joined forces with BeWell@StepOne to support Torquay WellBeing Walks. These operate once a fortnight and have grown in popularity.

Walks around St Marychurch and Babbacombe start and finish at Cary Park tennis club departing at 2.15pm.

The next walk is Friday November 24 with two more in December, Friday 8 and Friday 22. You can find out further information and register at


Saturday’s welcome FA Trophy win ending Yeovil Town’s 15 match unbeaten run was Torquay United manager Gary Johnson’s 250th game in charge with 117 wins, 49 draws and 84 losses.

Not only was it a welcome victory with a Round Three away tie against Frome Town but also, more importantly, a return to the type of performance which a few seasons ago was a regular occurrence.

The arrival of players with pace - Theo Williams and Callum Dolan both from Fleetwood - and a return to a starting place for Dillon De Silva, made a big difference. Dolan made the Trophy Team of the Week.

And Johnson obviously felt the need for another defender so Bournemouth’s Archie Harris had his loan at Poole Town cut short so he could move to Plainmoor.


FA Trophy Crowd Watch: Scunthorpe v Darlington 1,977, Torquay v Yeovil 1,740. Non-League Crowd Watch: Southend v Chesterfield 8,275, York v Hartlepool 6,265, Woking v Oldham 3,057, Dulwich Hamlet v Folkestone Invicta 3,069.

With Taunton’s postponed Trophy match moved to Tuesday it meant the eagerly awaited trip to Somerset has had to be rearranged for December 19.

Torquay’s Women’s team had a great 3-1 Devon Premier Cup Quarter-Final win over Feniton Ladies on Sunday with goals from Ocean Latto, Danni Wyatt and Ella Stephens.

So, United return to league action on Saturday with a long trip to Dartford. Safe journey to the Yellow Army





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