Gaming International’s protracted takeover bid for Vanarama National League club Torquay United has broken down.
Talks have been ongoing between the company and the Gulls board for a number of months and last week it was announced that the local council would be involved in talks with Gaming International looking to purchase the freehold of Plainmoor.
However in a statement released on the Gulls website club chairman David Phillips announced that the talks had now ended without a successful conclusion.
In the statement he called Gaming International’s insistence of purchasing the freehold of Plainmoor as “a major stumbling block” and he went on to invite interest from other potential owners of the club.
The statement read:
“I can today announce that Gaming International (GI) and Torquay United are no longer working towards a purchase/sale of the club. We encountered a major stumbling block over GI’s insistence on the purchase of the freehold of Plainmoor which was not a part of the Memorandum of Understanding we had with them.
“I would like to thank Mr Osborne and Gaming International for their interest in our club. As a consequence we are now actively talking to and inviting interest in TUFC from parties who share our vision and passion for this great club.
“I would urge all fans to support the club as strongly as possible whilst we continue our quest to establish a sustainable and successful football club in Torbay.
“When I (and the Board) interviewed Kevin Nicholson for the manager’s post, Kevin presented his ‘blue and yellow print’ – a plan to rebuild TUFC and return the club to the former status it had in the community and with supporters. I and the other Board members have supported TUFC with all our hearts for many years – in my case over 60 years, in a number of capacities. I believe 100% that our biggest impact and legacy will be appointing Kevin and allowing him to rebuild this club a brick at a time.
“This plan included achieving survival last season which we miraculously achieved despite incredible financial restrictions and other operational obstacles. When Kevin writes his book, and uncovers some of the madness and trials we all suffered behind the scenes, I am sure it will be a best seller, and maybe even a great TV series!
“We clearly need to return the club to the Football League, whilst building a sustainable and profitable business that operates without debt or the need for huge “handouts” from an oil baron or sheik.
“This has to be done whilst all the time engaging with the community, being present in the schools, at local events, meeting the supporters, making the players accessible to you all.
“Kevin has been more than true to his word in this area. The amount of time he has given, along with the players, has been more than I have ever seen from any other manager.
“Ultimately to move this club up the leagues we need to develop our football facilities further and establish a conveyor belt of young, home grown talent building on links with schools and local clubs within the community.
“This has all to be achieved in the right way. No short cuts, no underhand tactics. Getting the right people on the on our side, sharing our vision and plans with you all, and everyday doing the important things to achieve those goals.
“I am sure the future will still hold many ups and downs for the club – the story of TUFC after all! Whatever happens, I urge you to back the club, Kevin and his players in turning round our fortunes both on and off the pitch”