Torquay United: David Phillips named as club's new chairman

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
David Phillips
David Phillips consortium began negotiations to take over at Plainmoor in March

Torquay United have unveiled their new board of directors, with David Phillips as the club's new chairman.

He is part of a 10-member consortium who bought the club on Friday.

Dean Edwards, who represented the consortium during the negotiations, will become director of football.

It is expected the club will name a new manager by the end of the week after Chris Hargreaves and his coaching team were put on gardening leave on Sunday, having refused to take a pay cut.

The new board also plans to "water down" Torquay's youth academy as it aims to balance the books.

Torquay takeover timeline
21 January: Former Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas brought in to help sell Thea Bristow's stake in the club.
30 March: Thea Bristow leaves her role as chairman early, having said she would stay on until the end of the season.
15 April: Talks begin with a potential buyer.
15 May: Potential buyer pulls out of planned takeover.
26 May: Torquay board consider three offers for the club after buying Thea Bristow's 80% stake for £1.
28 May: Consortium of 10 local businessmen given seven-day exclusivity period to negotiate a deal to buy the club.
5 June: Consortium lodges bond with National League to guarantee their entry for the season
12 June: Takeover is completed and new board takes control

The National League club had been up for sale since January, when previous majority shareholder and chairman Thea Bristow appointed former Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas to help her find a buyer.

She resigned from her role as chairman in March and sold her 80% stake in the club to the remaining directors last month for £1, but pledged to help fund the club over the summer.

"We were in dire straits, and if something wasn't done pretty quickly there would have been chains around the doors at Plainmoor," Phillips told BBC Sport.

"This club has been leaking a lot of money and Thea Bristow has been contributing an amazing amount of money over the years, going on to lose about half a million a year and it could not continue.

"There's going to be a lot of harsh decisions to be made.

Key figures in Torquay's new board
David Phillips: Chairman. Magistrate, bookmaker and a lifelong supporterRon Peterson: Vice-chairman. Managing director of a glazing company.
Dean Edwards: Director of football. The only Torquay player to score twice at Wembley. Previously manager at Hednesford Town and was commercial manager at Torquay until the takeover.Steve Breed: Chief executive. Owns a nursing company. Ran the travel club for away matches and commentated for BBC Radio Devon.

"We're confident that we will get our house in order and we'll have a new manager by the end of the week, new players will start coming in and the fans will get behind us."

Edwards said the club will now look at ways they can save money, with the academy likely to be one of the first areas to take a hit.

"We've really taken the club off the life-support machine and put it back on the operating table. Now we've got to cut out the pieces that are making us dysfunctional," he told BBC Sport.

"There will be more opportunity for lads to come along as a 16-18 year-olds than there will for kids coming into our academy from eight to 15 and then be discarded.

"I will be meeting all the youth team players and parents to explain with them.

"The problem over the last five years has been short-termism and knee-jerk reactions.

"I'm looking at the bigger picture here, I think the local coaches have got to step up and get their teams functioning at a better standard."

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