Torquay United takeover: Local consortium given exclusivity

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Torquay United finished 13th in the Conference Premier last season

A consortium of 10 local businessmen have been given a period of exclusivity to try and take over Torquay United.

The group has until 4 June to strike a deal with the Conference club's current board of directors.

Earlier this week, the BBC revealed that the club was in talks with three different parties about a takeover.

"We are working away furiously in the background in order to make this happen," Dean Edwards, who is leading the bid, told BBC Sport.

"The money we promised will be there on provision that the club agree on certain legal and financial requirements," said Edwards, who is the currently the club's commercial manager and played more than 100 games for the Gulls between 1988 and 1991, and twice scored for them at Wembley.

The club is looking for new owners after lottery-winning majority shareholder Thea Bristow left the club earlier this year and sold her 80% stake to the current board for a pound last week.

"We've agreed a sum of money with the consortium and they've got until next Thursday to come up with it," said acting chairman Bill Phillips.

Torquay were last taken over in May 2007 when Bristow's late husband Paul bought himself a place on the board.

The club has been up for sale since former Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas began a review of the club at the beginning of the year.

Talks to find a new buyer re-started last week after one prospective new owner pulled out of a deal to take over at Plainmoor.