Torquay United chairman Clarke Osborne has issued a statement to the club’s supporters after their relegation from the Vanarama National League was confirmed at the weekend.

In the statement, he reiterated that the Gulls will remain full-time:

‘It is with immense disappointment and frustration that our relegation to the National League South has now been confirmed after Saturday’s result. I feel for Gary Owers and our players who have given their best in what has been desperately unlucky season.

I would like to apologise to United’s loyal supporters, who have stood steadfastly behind the Club through recent years. I know that I speak for every member of the United team, on and off the field in saying how sorry we are that, despite all the investment and effort, we were unable to hold on to National League status.

Whilst this result has left everyone crestfallen, it will galvanise our resolve and determination to make a return to the National League next season and to continue the journey back to the Football League.

Our work in rebuilding the structure of this significant, fine Club will continue unabated, and we will see improvement across all areas of activity. We have committed to maintaining a full-time squad and I have committed to funding that will provide the facilities and the financial incentives to secure promotion next season.

I know that the supporters deserve and want better, but it has taken longer than we expected to turn the ship around, longer than expected to rebuild the infrastructure. As difficult as it may be to see in the mist of despair, we are making real progress and we will, with everyone pulling in the same direction, succeed.

We will remain a full-time professional football club with aspirations on a national scale. We expect to be the best football team and club in the National League South, and we already know we have the best supporters.

Quietly, and almost unnoticed in the spotlight of our relegation battle, I was so pleased to hear that United’s Under-16s have reached a National Cup Final. This fantastic performance bodes well for the Academy and I send the congratulations of everyone at the Club to all involved in this brilliant achievement.

Much more will be said in the coming days and weeks but, for now, the promise from everyone connected to Torquay United is our commitment and determination to bring back the good times, and soon.

Clarke Osborne
Torquay United Chairman’

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