Dear Members and Supporters,
A lot has happened since our last newsletter, and our TUST teams have been extremely busy and productive. I would encourage you to read our news, articles and meeting reports on our website, as they will give you fuller information and detail on a regular basis.
It would be remiss of me to begin without acknowledging the great work Tim Herbert, the club secretary, has put in on behalf of TUFC and the loss he will be to both the club and supporters alike. We are really pleased that he will still be involved in assisting with the Fanzone, through the Torquay United Sports in the Community Trust (TUCST).
Secondly, I should acknowledge the uplifting of spirits within the club, following Gary Johnson's arrival. This is both evident amongst supporters and the way in which the players have responded in the first two performances on the pitch. Can anyone remember a 7-0 win? I can't in my 50 years as a supporter!
TUST are now at the point of being able to move forward with many differing initiatives, within our remit of endeavouring to be good guardians of our club and to support its' good governance. The supporters and local community should, in my opinion, always be the core stakeholders in this, at any football club.
To this end, I encourage you to consider our current focus and initiatives below:-
Engagement with TUFC senior representatives through regular meetings.
Meetings and communications with lead councillors and our MP.
Harnessing support from our national organisations Supporters Direct (SD) and the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) to assist with business planning and the establishment of a crucial network of national contacts including football advisory experts, politicians, the press and importantly other football clubs).
The co-ordination of the Premier League Fans Fund (PLFF) Fanzone joint project with the club, TUSCT and the Torquay United Official Supporters Club (TUOSC).
The implementation and co-ordination of the Matchday Ambassadors scheme to assist supporters at our home games.
The issue (this week – see below) of a formal TUST brochure aimed at promoting the value of TUFC to the local community and business sector.
The organisation of fun events for supporters. The inaugural event gets under way with the “Legends Evening” coming up on Friday October 12th (see below).
The provision of support to other TUFC related groups and initiatives such as The Disabled Supporter roofing exercise run by Sam Balsdon and the TUFC ladies team, and the 'on the BALL' (@onthebaw) initiative.
I wish to make it clear and re-iterate the fact that TUST is here to work in unity for our club, its' supporters and the local fraternity. Irrespective of:
whether you are interested in the longer term picture of a new stadium or remaining in situ at Plainmoor; or
enabling Match day experiences for the fans ;
caring for our fringe supporters;
enabling direct feedback from fans to, and engagement with, the club's owners on any issues;
re-connecting and building bridges with our local community in placing our football club at its' centre;
liaising with the people in the community who make important decisions on our club's behalf i.e. the freehold ownership, ACV status etc.;
or just networking with other clubs
…As members, you all count and your continued support is both appreciated and valuable to the future of our club. Please continue to spread the word!!
This September update includes: TUST Brochure - 1st Issue,TUST AGM Meeting, Legends Evening, Premier League Fans Fund Grant Event, Match Day Ambassadors,September Board Minutes, Reminder - New Email Address, Support TUST with the Torbay Lottery and finally ... an up to date financial report.
Michel Thomas Chairman
TUST Brochure – 1st Issue
We have often been questioned by non-members (and even existing members sometimes!) as to what the purpose of TUST is and why someone should join or remain a member. To that end, we have recently put together the 1st Issue of a brochure aimed at clarifying this. The brochure also features the Corporate Members we have recently signed up to TUST as part of a new initiative of raising the profile of the club and TUST amongst local businesses.
We hope to have copies of the brochure printed in time for the Woking game on Saturday. Please drop by the Fanzone and pick up a copy and let us know what you think. Any feedback is useful for future issues.
TUST Annual General Meeting
Friday 12th October at the Gulls Nest 6.30 pm to 7.15 pm
All members are welcome and indeed encouraged to come along to our AGM on the same night as the Legends Evening. All attendees at the AGM will be issued with a £3 bar voucher to be used for the Legends event that follows the AGM.
Legends Evening – Friday 12th October
As part of our commitment to also organising activities for supporters, we have put together a “Legends Evening” on Friday 12th October at the No. 10’s restaurant at the club with a start time of 7.30pm (approximate end time of 10.00pm).
The event is open to TUST members and Non-Members alike, so please come along and bring a friend / partner or two… The cost is £10 each (to include a hot snack), with all profits to be distributed between the Torquay United Ladies Team and the Disabled Supporters Project.
Tickets are on sale at the club shop. Please see flyer below. We are also pleased to confirm that Danni Wyatt from our ladies team, Mark Loram and Sean Joyce have confirmed their attendance.
Premier League Fans Fund Grant Event
We held our first event for the Supporters Hub project prior to the Chippenham match.
A Fans Zone was set-up on the green outside Plainmoor and various activities put on to involve and entertain supporters including our new Speed Goal-with participants of all ages seeing how fast they could hit the football; Bubble Football matches, Face-painting and picture taking with Gilbert the Gull.
This was a relatively low-key event to “test the water” but was very well received with large numbers taking part including away supporters and local youngsters,who came over from the nearby swing-park, delighted we were using the green for such fun (and to their surprise, free activities)
We were well supported on the day by the club and TUCST and will be running the Fan Zone again before the match with Woking where we are hoping that we will be joined by members of the first team squad who will meet fans and sign autographs-and possibly Gary Johnson if he can find time in his pre-match schedule.
We are also planning to do our first outreach events next month: taking part in the Loving Later Life event on 3rd October, at Newton Abbot Racecourse and the Ageing Well Festival at Paignton Community and Sports Academy on 20th October.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
MATCH Day Ambassadors
A new joint initiative between TUST and the Club was rolled out during a couple of pre-season friendlies with two TUST volunteers, as Matchday Ambassadors, welcoming supporters to the match.
As the feedback was positive the Ambassadors’ role developed as the league season opened with the greeters positioned at the turnstiles for the Popside and for Bristows/Family stand.
Nick Brodrick, who has become the Matchday Ambassador co-ordinator, said, “It’s really enjoyable and positive engaging with fans coming into the ground – with plenty of light hearted banter taking place!”
After five home games the Ambassadors have developed into a semi-official club position helping supporters to resolve ticketing/seating issues as well as answering general queries.
If anybody would be interested in taking on this rewarding role (part or full time) please email email@example.com for further details.
September Board Meeting
New stadium proposals / future of TUFC.
There had been no further contact from Clarke Osborne, Chris Lewis or anyone else involved in the proposed ground development or in response to any of the other queries raised by TUST. The increasing involvement of George Edwards in football matters was noted and his influence on the running of the club generally appears to be significant.
TUST is continuing its positive dialogue with Kevin Foster MP and a cross-section of local councillors. There is clearly awareness of TUFC’s plight and a strong desire to protect the club for the benefit of the community and local economy. Feedback from a meeting held between Osborne and Edwards and Foster and Dave Thomas (Conservative councillor) where the latter had been able to challenge some of the claims made by the developers. It is understood that a meeting is planned for 26th September where officers from the Torbay Development Agency will be briefing the councillors on the latest proposals and discussions with Clarke Osborne.
TUST representatives have been invited to attend with Kevin Foster a fringe session at the Conservative Party conference on ‘Who is in charge of football’.
Good progress is being made by Supporters’ Direct on the report commissioned by TUST and a draft is expected by the end of the month. In addition to the previously agreed objectives the report will include consideration of the future prospects for TUFC if Clarke Osborne ends his involvement and a strategy for TUFC to become financially sustainable.
The report will provide a useful starting point for TUST developing its own business plan which the board see as a priority given the current uncertainty over the owner’s intentions. TUST should be aiming to produce a robust plan that will set out a strategy for addressing any likely eventuality.
TUFC Liaison meetings
The latest meeting with staff of TUFC on 1st September had covered concerns over the lack of communication from Clarke Osborne and his team, the Premier League Fans Fund project, the TUST brochure and the ‘On The Ball’ grass-roots campaign to provide sanitary wear for female supporters on match days.
Nick Brodrick gave feedback on the Matchday Ambassador initiative which he had been providing with others. He stated that the ambassadors had been well received and able to assist with a wide range of queries and pass on supporters’ suggestions to the club, whose staff had been very supportive. More volunteers were needed to sustain the scheme in future but the early signs were encouraging.
With Tim Herbert due to leave the club on 19th September there was concern about who TUST’s main contact would be in future. The board expressed its appreciation for the commitment and assistance given by Tim. There was concern over who would take on the important role of Club Secretary after he leaves as nothing had been announced.
The appointment of the experienced Gary Johnson as team manager was welcomed. It was noted that he had said that he understands and endorses the owner’s vision for the future of the club. It was agreed that TUST should seek to engage with him once he has settled in to his role.
Report of the Premier League Fans Fund
Robin Causley reported that the first Fanzone held on ghe green outside Boots and Laces on 8th September had been very successful despite the low-key launch. The next one would be before the Woking game on 29th September and more volunteers were needed. There were also plans for a Christmas themed Fanzone and the first Outreach event was planned to be held at Paignton Community College on 20th October in conjunction with an Ageing Well event.
Merchandise for future events was discussed and particularly the need to target young fans. It was agreed to procure a range of TUST items such as pens, balloons, badges and stickers.
Board member nominations.
The Secretary reported that in addition to the three current members standing for election, a nomination had been received from Simon Baker (former chairman of TUFC). No other nominations had been received for the seven vacancies on the board by the deadline so these four candidates would be appointed at the AGM without an election being necessary. In addition, Nick Brodrick was proposed for board membership and unanimously agreed.
The AGM is being held at Plainmoor on 12th October at 6.30pm ahead of the Legends Evening and it was hoped that as many members as possible will attend. No motions had been received from members by the deadline and the board had no motions other than acceptance of the accounts and the appointment of the auditor for next year.
Reminder - New Email Address
Please note our email address has changed to
Our old email address firstname.lastname@example.org will be discontinued in the next month.
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Balance 25th September 2018
Account 1: £1819.67 Account 2: £35211.45 *
Premier League Fans Fund: £5852.27