As part of its strategy, Torquay United Supporters Trust (TUST), which recently considered submitting a bid to own the club, is eager to speak to individuals and organisations in the Brixham area.
Says TUST’s Nick House:
“Our belief is that Torquay United should be an important part of local life. That’s not just Torquay but all of South Devon.”
TUST is different to a traditional supporters club. Nick explains:
“Supporters trusts are relatively new to the football scene. They’re community benefit societies – or community interest companies – and have become influential over the past fifteen years. Some clubs, such as Exeter City, are owned by supporters’ trusts and are run according to community ownership principles. At many others, supporters’ trusts help steer the general direction of the club.”
TUST eventually hopes to secure ownership of Torquay United. In the meantime it is set upon building a more community-facing club.
“Across the country” says Nick “people are becoming increasingly worried about football clubs growing distant from their local communities. We’re relatively lucky in South Devon. Torquay United is a small, friendly club and, over the years, has done lots of great work in the local community.
But we believe there’s scope for more. This means TUST intends to work with individuals, sporting organisations, schools and colleges, businesses, youth organisations, health bodies, local authorities, community groups and anyone else who shares our vision of a football club with a strong community ethos.”
Nick believes that building interest and developing links in Brixham is an important part of the process:
“Torquay United has always drawn considerable support and sponsorship from Brixham people. That goes right back to the club joining the Football League in 1927. It’s part of local life and we’re sure many local people will share our vision of wider community participation and eventual community ownership.
There’s also a wonderful sporting scene in Brixham itself. The rugby club has had a terrific season and Brixham AFC has successfully stepped up to the Peninsula League. People have strong loyalties to these town clubs but we’d like to think there’s space for Torquay United to work more closely with the local sporting community. It’s not just about producing another Mark Loram. It’s also about issues such as social inclusion, educational opportunity, community participation and healthy lifestyles.”
Nick says individuals and organisations in Brixham can work with and support TUST in several ways:
“Firstly, and most importantly, by meeting and talking with us. We’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions about building a community club.
Secondly, if you like us, join us. You can be a member for £2 a month. This brings a share certificate and a vote when it comes to making important decisions. We also have the Forever Yellow fund for anyone who wishes to contribute towards our long-term vision of community ownership of Torquay United.”Follow