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The TUST board has concerns about the running of our club

Back in 2018, a few months after taking over Torquay United, owner Clarke Osborne wrote this to the then chairman of TUST: “I know from the discussions you and your members have held with the club that there are plans to enhance supporter engagement, both through TUST and Torquay United Official Supporters Club.”

“I and the club are committed and keen to continually improve this dialogue and develop improved communication and links with all supporters.”

Why then is TUST currently frozen out?

Prior to September 2021 TUST held fairly regular meetings with the club’s supporter liaison officer usually at Plainmoor but then on Zoom when Covid struck. Then the club’s directors, unfortunately, cancelled any further meetings with TUST, as a group, due to the club’s lack of ability to react constructively to some criticism during the meeting.

Current chairman Nick Brodrick then undertook a year long series of meetings, five in total, with the club’s two in-house directors culminating in the re-engagement of sessions, at Plainmoor, with the club’s supporter liaison officer. The first of these took place in March.

Another meeting was agreed for May but in-between Mr Osborne made his statement about the club remaining full-time in National South and TUST issued its statement in response.

The May meeting was due to take place but was cancelled the night before. Since then TUST and its chairman have been cancelled.

Speaking with supporters at a recent home match and reading posts on the various fans’ forums and social media in general, there is a growing groundswell of opinion questioning the running of the club.

Under previous owners/chairmen Tony Boyce, Mike Bateson and Alex Rowe, for example, supporters were welcomed and you were made to feel like a guest instead of a paying customer.

There was an open channel of dialogue and fans were allowed to say their piece. There was no secrecy about plans for the future and fans were kept in touch with developments on and off the pitch.

Under this current regime fans are not allowed to know anything about OUR football club. Yes, we are all very grateful to Mr Osborne for rescuing us and writing the cheques but there is more to running a football club than ploughing in money, because Torquay United is the heart of the community.

Where is the Five Year Plan we were promised?

Where is the local board of directors we were promised?

Where is the academy Mr Osborne said was so vital?

In a statement made on January 19 2018 Mr Osborne said this: “The major success, in my opinion, is the reformation of a youth system and the start of building a strong sustainable Academy. It forms the backbone of future sustainable success.”

So, now five years later not one player has made regular appearances in the first team. Where is the pathway? Why can other clubs, one notable one not far away, produce players, some of whom were born in Torbay, to be sold for £1million+?

From day one Mr Osborne talked up moving the club to a new stadium: “I am convinced that a purpose built multi-event stadium and academy, with supporting leisure activities, good road, and rail communication and acres of car parking will provide the facilities and finance for sustained success and bring considerable inward investment and spend to Torbay.” (Quoted from club statement 2018).

We’re still waiting.

Despite repeated requests, why won’t the club allow the trust, along with the Community Sports Trust, to run, what were very popular, fan zones before selected matches?

Numerous long standing supporters refuse to attend matches because of the decisions taken by those running the club on Mr Osborne’s behalf. Supporters are treated with contempt, trying to buy a ticket is impossible for many and there is no encouragement to promote the club in the town as there used to be.

Now, as the only official supporters’ group, with a growing membership, TUST has been muted and not allowed to communicate fans’ feelings to the board, being told ‘we are negative’.

We know there have been calls for a boycott which we do not subscribe to but all we do ask is for the right to have engagement with the club on behalf of all the Yellow Army.

To quote Mr Osborne from 2018: “Engagement is the key word for the team at Torquay United and they are working hard to improve our processes and communication.”

Well, Mr Osborne, those whom you have entrusted to run the club like this have failed.



The most important thing right now is for TUST to have a bigger, more authoritative voice. The more members we have, the bigger the voice we have and the greater influence we may be able to have in the future on how the club is run sustainably for the benefit of supporters.

See other Frequently Asked Questions on our website here; FAQ's | TUST




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