Torquay United: Paul Cox resigns as manager after three months

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Paul Cox
Paul Cox led Mansfield Town to the Conference title in 2013

Paul Cox has resigned as manager of Torquay United after only three months in charge.

Cox joined the Gulls in June after former boss Chris Hargreaves was placed on gardening leave, having refused to take a pay cut following a takeover.

He plans to make a statement about his resignation on Monday.

Assistant manager John Ramshaw and director of football Dean Edwards will take charge of the team for Saturday's National League game against Bromley.

"Paul's his own man and he's made the decision based on his circumstances," Ramshaw told BBC Sport.

"He was very close to the players and a lot of them played for him at previous clubs and I think there was a great deal of disappointment.

"With any change in management at the club, there's trepidation and apprehension from the players, but my job now is to try and calm their fears and get the result tomorrow."

Torquay have not won a match for over a month, despite a promising start to the season when they were victorious in two of their opening three games.

The ups and downs of Torquay United
2004: Promoted to League One2010: Paul Bristow dies. Wife Thea takes his place on the board.
2005: Relegated back to League Two2011: Lose League Two play-off final to Stevenage
2007: Finish bottom of League Two and relegated to the Conference for the first time in the club's history2012: Finish fifth in League Two, losing to Cheltenham Town in play-off semi-finals
2007: New board takes over after relegation, including lottery winner Paul Bristow2013: Finish 19th in League Two after manager Martin Ling takes time off because of depression. He is later relieved of his duties and replaced by Alan Knill
2008: Lose in Conference play-off semi-final to rivals Exeter City2014: Knill is sacked in January with Torquay bottom of the league, but new boss Chris Hargreaves cannot save the club from relegation
2009: Return to Football League after winning Conference play-off final2015: Torquay finish 13th in the Conference with Thea Bristow leaving the club and a new board taking over with a vastly reduced budget

And despite Cox, who was not being paid a salary, saying he would bring in extra players over the past few weeks, no new faces have come to the club as Torquay's financial problems continue to bite.

Torquay were taken over by a consortium of local businesspeople in the summer after millionaire owner Thea Bristow left.

They immediately dispensed with Hargreaves and appointed former Mansfield manager Cox as his replacement.

Since then the club have been forced to operate on a reduced budget, the youth academy has been closed and part of the training ground has been leased to Plymouth Argyle's youth team.

Last week Edwards told BBC Sport that legal claims still outstanding against Torquay "'could finish the club".

"Everyone knows the problems we inherited in terms of finances, but I think we've assembled a good squad of players on very limited resources and our brief was to keep the club in the division," Ramshaw added.

"I'm confident that this group of players is good enough to secure Torquay United's future in the National League."