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Torquay United to enter administration

Torquay United are to go into administration after owner Clarke Osborne said he can no longer fund the National League South club.

The Gulls, who are 11th in National League South, have been owned by Osborne since 2016 after he bought the club from a fan-led consortium.

In his time Torquay have twice been relegated to the National League South (sixth tier).

They missed out on promotion to League Two in 2021 after losing to Hartlepool United in the play-off final.

Osborne has also stood down as club chairman and the club is set to be deducted 10 points, dropping them from 11th to 18th in the National League South table, four points above relegation to the Southern League.

"It is with sincere regret that I advise that circumstances beyond my control during the last five weeks have brought me to the position that I an unable to continue financial support for the club and I have today filed on behalf of the directors an intention to appoint an administrator for the club and company," Osborne said in a statement on the club website.

Osborne had kept Torquay afloat - the last set of accounts show loans of almost £4.3m to the club.

It is expected that that figure is likely to be well past £5m with new accounts for the year to June 2023 due soon.

"The financing of football in this country is precarious and can only thrive in the lower divisions where there is either a close collaborative relationship with the local authority, it is a trophy asset or is backed by substantial local individuals and businesses," Osborne added.

"I believe that it needs a fundamental overhaul of its financing structure, rights distribution in the lower leagues and recognition that many clubs represent a fundamental part of the local community and its visitor attractions.

"Ambitious clubs should, in my opinion, be given special status in their push to bring in investment, develop facilities, bring spend and employment to the local economy."

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