MANAGER Gary Johnson says he is confident that Torquay United’s owner Clarke Osborne will continue to back the club financially through the current virus-enforced shutdown and beyond.

Johnson confirmed that his 23-man playing squad is being paid as normal at present, under the terms of contracts which run for most of them until early next month.

Osborne’s Riviera Stadium Ltd, which owns United, has placed most of its non-football staff on ‘furlough’ like many other clubs, and the Plainmoor ground and support facilities remain closed until further notice.

Osborne - United’s latest balance-sheet reported that RSL had invested at least £2.4 million into the club since they took over in December 2016 - has not so far issued a statement personally during the current Coronavirus crisis.

But Johnson was quizzed about the financial situation during his latest ‘Question and Answer’ session with supporters on the club’s website.

Asked by one fan whether he was worried that Osborne might ‘pull the plug’, Johnson said: “I don’t think he will - I am absolutely certain he won’t.”

He went on: “From the day I started, the club’s vision has not changed. Nothing has changed going forward, and I am grateful for that.

“I think they are looking at it very professionally, and I trust them to do the right thing by this football club.”

United’s players are following individual training regimes, many of them back at their family homes, as they observe the government’s lockdown rules.

All levels of English football below the Vanarama National League have had their seasons ended, with results expunged and promotion/relegation cancelled.

The Premier League, Football League (EFL) and National League remain ‘suspended’.

The PL and EFL are on hold until April 30 at the earliest, but even though everyone assumes that the NL is following suit, their website has still not officially postponed fixtures from this coming weekend (April 4) onwards.