Torquay United takeover: Consortium talks 'progressing'

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Torquay United
Torquay finished 13th in the Conference last season, having been relegated from the Football League in 2014

The consortium of 10 local businessmen hoping to take over Torquay United say their bid is "progressing".

The group, led by the club's current commercial manager Dean Edwards, have an exclusive period to buy the club which runs out on Thursday.

They are to meet the club's acting chairman Bill Phillips on Tuesday.

"It's progressing. Everybody in the consortium really wants this to work because of their love for the club," Edwards told BBC Sport.

Torquay in turmoil
21 January: Former Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas brought in to help sell Thea Bristow's stake in the club.
30 March: Thea Bristow leaves her role as chairman early, having said she would stay on until the end of the season.
15 April: Talks begin with a potential buyer.
27 April: Torquay release nine players after finishing 13th in the Conference.
15 May: Potential buyer pulls out of planned takeover.
26 May: Torquay board consider three offers for the club after buying Thea Bristow's 80% stake for £1.
28 May: Consortium of 10 local businessmen given seven-day exclusivity period to negotiate a deal to buy the club.

Torquay must also satisfy the Football Conference that they have the necessary funds in place to fulfil their fixtures next season in the renamed National League.

The club have been looking for a new owner since Lottery-millionaire Thea Bristow stepped down from the club in March and sold her 80% stake to the current board.

A buyer for the Gulls had been found last month, but they pulled out of the deal.

Bristow subsequently agreed to meet the club's costs for the summer, having ploughed around £3m of her £15m jackpot into the club since her husband Paul took up a place on the board during the last takeover in 2007.

"We're trying to keep the club alive," Edwards said after a meeting of the consortium on Monday. "If it's through sheer hard work and effort, it will stay alive.

"This consortium is not out to make money, they want to save the club," he added.