Torquay United takeover collapses over Plainmoor sale

Plainmoor
Torquay United were relegated from the Football League in May 2014

The proposed takeover of national league side Torquay United has fallen through after bidders Gaming International (GI) pulled out.

The Swindon-based firm could not agree a deal over buying the freehold of the club's Plainmoor ground.

GI wanted to build a new stadium for the Gulls on the outskirts of the town, paid for by redeveloping Plainmoor.

But Torbay Council, which own Plainmoor, could not come to a deal over selling the ground to GI.

The firm's period of exclusivity ran out on 31 July, having first made a bid for the club at the end of March.

"We encountered a major stumbling block over GI's instance on the purchase of the freehold of Plainmoor which was not a part of the memorandum of understanding we had with them," chairman David Phillips said in a statement.

David Phillips
David Phillips became Torquay United chairman in June 2015

"As a consequence we are now actively talking to and inviting interest in Torquay United from parties who share our vision and passion for this great club."

Phillips led a consortium which took over the club last summer after millionaire owner Thea Bristow left.

The group were forced to drastically cut costs, shutting the club's academy, giving up the training ground and getting rid of then-manager Chris Hargreaves and his assistant Lee Hodges.

"We clearly need to return the club to the Football League, whilst building a sustainable and profitable business that operates without debt or the need for huge 'handouts' from an oil baron or sheik," added Phillips.

"I and my fellow directors assumed our positions as custodians of the club without warning and without any experience or track record.

"Our aim has always been to find genuine, passionate, honest and driven professionals to do the job of rebuilding this great club.

"We are all, and have always been, willing to forget the money we invested if it meant getting the right people on board. That remains our sole focus.

"We accept criticism and we know we may have not always have done things that others thought appropriate, however everything we have done has been our best to keep the ship afloat."

Top Stories