Torquay United: Kelvin Thomas not intending to take over club

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Kelvin Thomas
Kelvin Thomas was chairman of Oxford from October 2008 to July 2012

Former Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas has said it is not his intention to take over Torquay United.

Thomas has begun a review of the Conference club at the request of chairman Thea Bristow.

"That's not the intention," Thomas said when asked if he was taking over the Gulls by BBC Sport.

"That's not part of any discussions I've had. But as I've always said, and I always say, you never say never in football."

Thomas said Bristow is in talks over selling part or all of her stake in the club, which she inherited after her lottery-winning husband Paul passed away on 2010.

"She is in discussions and she's filled me in on some of that information," he said.

Torquay's recent highs and lows
May 2007: Relegated to conference, a new board assumes controlMay 2008: Lose Conference play-off semi-final to Exeter and are beaten in FA Trophy final by Ebbsfleet
May 2009: Beat Cambridge United in Conference play-off final at WembleyJune 2010: Benefactor Paul Bristow passes away aged 59
May 2011: Torquay are beaten by Stevenage in League Two play-off finalMay 2012: Torquay are beaten in League Two play-off semi-finals by Cheltenham Town
April 2014: Torquay relegated to the ConferenceJanuary 2015: Torquay drop to 13th in the Conference

"Thea loves this football club, that's the one thing I have found and seen.

"She needs to make sure that this decision is the right one of does she bring in investors or does she sell the club."

Torquay have made a series of cutbacks since being relegated from the Football League at the end of last season, with the club travelling to away games on the day and cancelling the contracts of a number of younger professionals.

"Relegation gives you extra challenges financially and Thea realises she needs to do something a bit different," added Thomas.

"This isn't a situation, from what I understand, that administration's around the corner at all.

"This is a situation where they have to re-evaluate and make some changes."

Torquay are in the bottom half of the Conference for just the second time in their history, having failed to win any of their last six league games.

"There are things that the football club can be doing to improve the financial picture," said Thomas.

"When you come through these processes you have to look at every revenue stream at the football club. Are you working towards bringing in as much revenue as you can to put the best product you can on the pitch?

"Football fans want to see the team win, they want three points on a Saturday afternoon, so the responsibility of the board of directors is to chase every income stream possible to put the best product on the pitch."