Torquay United have announced three key appointments.
Geoff Harrop will be joining the club as general manager from February 1st, Mel Hayman has joined the club as financial controller and Tim Herbert as club secretary.
The club now expects the National League to formally ratify the purchase of a controlling interest in the club by Riviera Stadium Limited at their February Board meeting; administrative reasons at the National League resulted in this being deferred from the meeting on January 19th. We have been assured by the National League that all of the financial and other requirements have been satisfied.
Clarke Osborne a Director of Torquay United FC, commented: “I am delighted with these three key appointments of very able, experienced and local people. Mel knows the club well and will play a key part as we fashion the plans for the future. Tim will bring experience and real enthusiasm to ensure that we are always working closely with the National League and keeping the club’s activities fully compliant in the ever more complex world of football.
“Geoff knows football, the club and Torquay; he is ambitious and committed to the successful future of the club. As general manager, he will oversee our operations and will be tasked with managing the development of a five-year plan and the re-establishment of a football academy and integrated youth football network.
“Kevin Nicholson and Geoff will work closely together in developing this brilliant club, and improve every aspect of what we do on, and off the pitch, and report to the Board of Directors.
“We have spent a rather hectic few weeks working with the management team, meeting many people connected with supporting the club, and started to get to grips with the short-term challenges.
“These last few weeks have reinforced my belief that this club has a great heart, a proud history, and is infused with great people who give their time and energy to its well-being, sometimes without financial reward.
“In recent times, I don’t think that anyone would disagree that the club has lost focus and consequently, has suffered both financial and organisational instability. Our short-term objectives are to bring us back to a stable footing as soon as possible and certainly by the end of this season.
“At the same time, the management team will be tasked with producing a comprehensive five-year plan for the club. This will involve extensive consultation with all stakeholders and I hope that we will be able to launch the consultation next month. We want as many people as possible to get involved in this process, whatever their background and whatever their views. We will be publishing details of the five-year plan consultation in February and in the meantime, we will continue to meet up with as many stakeholders as possible and to build the management team.”
The Board of Directors has been engaged in discussions with Torbay Council regarding various matters relating to the club, and sporting and leisure facilities in Torbay.
These include the potential purchase of the freehold interest in the Plainmoor Ground, and the discussions are ongoing. No agreement has been reached, and any decisions will be the subject of a formal vote of the Council.