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  • Writer's pictureTUST

October Newsletter

Chairmans Comments

Dear Members and Supporters,

It has been another eventful month in which we have as usual endeavoured to keep you regularly informed via our website, members' emails etc. The TUST board and teams have continued to contribute a generous amount of their time, voluntarily, towards furthering our various initiatives in supporting our club.

On the pitch, it was great to experience the atmosphere at last Saturday's cup match at Plainmoor. I have already referred to the uplifting of spirits and change in team performances that Gary Johnson has brought to our club. There is nothing better than hearing the crowd in full voice and getting behind our team. The icing on the cake was seeing the rapport between the players, manager and supporters at the end of the game, followed by the generous applause for the Winchester lads to a man as they left the pitch! A good day.

Looking forward to continuing our upward and onward movement in the table and hoping that we might have a good cup run this year...

Your October update includes:Your Board, Liaison with TUFC. Conservative Conference, TUFC Fan Zone, Torquay United Official Supporters Club (TUOSC), Legends Evening, Matchday Ambassadors, Community Unity TUST TUFC Brochure, Torbay Council Meeting, Club Viability and Stadium Proposals, New Email Address, Support TUST with the Torbay Lottery and finally ... an up to date financial report.

Best Wishes to you all,

Michel Thomas Chairman


Your Board

The recent AGM minutes have already been sent out including details of the election of new board members. At our meeting on 15th October members were appointed to the following roles;

Michel Thomas - Chairman

Robin Causley - Vice-chairman

Ali Bryant - Treasurer and Membership Secretary

Rick Williams - Secretary

Rob Burkitt - Lead for Communications

Nick Brodrick - Lead for Supporter Liaison

Simon Baker - Lead for Business Strategy

Matt Carpenter - Lead for Exiles

Liaison With TUFC

We are continuing our regular joint meetings with senior representatives of TUFC, the most recent one being on 16th October.  Unfortunately, we are still awaiting the owner's  requested permission in order to publish the minutes of past meetings for supporters’ perusal.

The board expressed concern that the club had made no announcement about a replacement for Tim Herbert as Secretary, a vitally important role for a football club and one which required a dedicated person, not one which could be tagged on to an employee’s other duties.

It was noted that George Edwards was clearly taking the lead on all football matters and appeared now to be the conduit between the club and owner.  It was felt that a meeting with him would be beneficial, ideally with a view to establishing quarterly meetings going forward. This would enable the board to give GE a true perception of TUST’s objectives and its wish to work with the club to ensure a sustainable future.

The Chairman suggested that an invitation should be extended to Gary Johnson to meet informally with TUST representatives.  He had indicated that he understands the importance of fan and community involvement so may accept such an offer. It was also proposed that he be asked to attend a social event for supporters with a few players too.


We were one of a few football clubs invited to send a representative to the Sports, Media and Culture select committee fringe meeting at the recent Conservative party conference, titled 'Who is in Charge of football?' It was attended by many MPs and government officers. Michel Thomas was lucky enough to be allowed to speak and encouraged the government to include non-league football in any review of football ownership and regulatory reform.

Furthermore, he expressed the feeling that the FA's non-league owners' test was not robust enough. It had already been acknowledged that the EFL and PL remain self-regulatory and that the FA have not been able to take control of ownership testing at all in this field. England are one of only three countries in Europe that do not have government statutory regulations in place for the ownership of football clubs! It was hoped that the Government All Party football supporters group take this up.


The TUFC Fan Zone has proved very successful on its first two launches at the home matches against Chippenham Town and Woking, as well as the TUFC pop-up hubs at the Loving Life and Ageing Well festivals at Newton Abbot racecourse and Paignton Community College. A huge variety of people have visited and taken part at these, from 5 to 85 year olds! It has been a great chance for TUFC to connect with our local community.

The PLFF Steering Group, comprising of TUFC, TU Community Sports Trust and TUST, have been doing a brilliant job. An indoor Fan Zone is planned soon, using Boots and Laces, possibly at the home FA Cup tie v Woking.

If you would like to volunteer to help at these or other events we are planning in the future, please contact John Downer,Project Co-ordinator, at


We were disappointed to hear of the situation regarding TUOSC, and the fact that they could not see their way to joining in as part of the above initiative. They were invited to be  represented on the steering group, in partnership with TUFC, TUCST and TUST, from the onset of the PLFF application. We have also, over the last year, made repeated invitations to their chairs to meet up with us in order to clarify our differing roles, as well as to explore where we might work together in supporting our club.

Unfortunately, these requests were never responded to. In our joint meeting with TUFC last week, we emphasised our feeling that it would be healthy for the club to continue to have a supporters' club, separate to TUST, under its own remit. I also personally believe that the work with introducing the younger generation to TUFC is, and always has been, particularly valuable to the community and vital to our club.

At this point, the great work done by so many in the past should be built upon, not dismantled. The TUST board have offered to help in any way we can. We do hope that others might come forward to take the place of the resigning committee, or return to work with the younger Gulls.


The Legends evening has already been reported upon, but we are very grateful to all the TUFC legends who came, the ladies team and to the sponsors and supporters who contributed to making it an enjoyable and successful event. The cheques for the funds raised have totalled £500 , which will be presented equally to representatives of the TU Ladies FC and the TU Disabled Supporters Fund at the home match v Billericay by our senior legend, Mr. Robin Stubbs. Both these TUFC related groups are currently in need of  some support.


The volunteer Matchday Ambassadors have been regularly present at the gates since early season, adding to the welcoming atmosphere that we wish to create at our football club. They have also helped with some small supporter issues, been able to give advice to visitors and to feedback any issues or suggestions supporters may have made to the club.It has proved to be a positive and enjoyable initiative. If any supporter (TUST member or not) would be interested in joining the team, please let us know, or talk to one of the Ambassadors on a matchday. We need one or two more to cover for unavailability and for,dreaming on, any future larger gates!


We have now launched our new brochure, which is designed to, in particular, reach out to the local community, the business fraternity and to fringe supporters alike. It relates to our beloved TUFC's history and heritage and to its value to our local community.

We also endeavour to explain TUST's, raison d'etre to those that are unsure of our remit and role. It took a lot of work and time, and the photos were carefully selected to cover a range of events and memories. These are being distributed to local businesses, at business breakfast clubs, at outreach events etc., as well as to fringe supporters within our footballing community.


It would be remiss not to make reference to last week's news that the council, on an all party vote, have passed a motion relating to the future use of Nightingale Park, and to keeping to the Torbay Council's original sports and leisure use plan for this area. We are maintaining a close eye on all of these developments.

We will be particularly interested in our owner's business plans for TUFC, hopefully he will expand on these shortly. We note that it is a publicised view that he intends to submit a planning application in the next month or so. We have no further information as of yet. In the meantime, it is great, and to be acknowledged, that his intention is clearly to get us promoted this season.


The report commissioned from Supporters Direct by TUST on the club’s ownership and related matters has recently been received.  Our first impression is that it is a good analysis and will provide a sound basis for TUST developing its own business plan. A small working party has been appointed to consider the report in detail and draft a strategic plan for the board to consider.

Reminder - New Email Address

Please note our email address has changed to

Our old email address will be discontinued.

Support TUST

Support Your Community

Financial Report

Balance 27th October 2018

Account 1:  £2219.20 Account 2:  £33491.45

Premier League Fans Fund:  £4931.72

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