Torquay United: Kelvin Thomas to stay on in advisory role

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

Former Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas will continue in his advisory role at Torquay United until the end of the current season.

Thomas was brought in last month but has previously said that he has himself.

Gulls chairman Thea Bristow is looking for new investment.

She having assumed a role on the board after her husband Paul passed away in 2010.

"It's been really interesting find out more about the club and finding out about Thea's role and what she's done so far," Thomas told BBC Sport.

"I was impressed and moved at what Thea has done, especially with her limited knowledge of running a football club.

"Thea has made it clear that she needs some help financially in terms of investment into the football club and that can be a daunting process for someone that doesn't have experience in that.

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

"So primarily, I'll help Thea in that role, meeting with potential investors and the current board to see if there's anyone else interested in coming in and taking the club forward financially and passionately.

"Secondly, I'm identifying some areas that need a bit of improvement. I've identified some areas that are great and just need some help along the way, and there are areas where you could not just save money, but also increase revenues."

Torquay have not won a league game since 9 December, when they although they have won four matches in the FA Trophy since then to move into the semi-finals of the competition.

The Gulls, who were are currently 14th in the Conference Premier, their worst league position since September 2008.

"It has been a really good few weeks for me working with Kelvin as I have gained a valuable insight into the club and the options available," Bristow said in a statement.

"Once we had discussed his findings this weekend, it became obvious to me that for this to work he had to stay involved at least to the end of the season, with a view to both finding new investment and making the club more sustainable moving forward.

She added: "I have been speaking with people about potential investment in the football club or even a possible transfer of my interest. However, it is very important to me that any solution is in the best interests of the club and I am hoping Kelvin, with his experience, will help me with this.

"I have no intention of walking away or stepping down without first finding a secure future for the club."

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