MP in plea to Sports Minister over Torquay United funding

Torquay United fan Kevin Foster, MP for Torbay

Torquay United fan Kevin Foster, MP for Torbay - Credit: Submitted

Torbay's MP Kevin Foster has joined the fight of Torquay United and their National League rivals to secure funding to complete the season – and hoped-for promotion back to the EFL.

United fan Kevin has asked Sports Minister Oliver Dowden to rethink the plan to offer new funding as loans instead of grants.

Kevin says it would be ‘tragic’ if the table-topping Gulls were to lose a chance to end their six-year Football League exile.

The National League board this week asked all its 66 clubs to vote, by February 28, on a series of options.

First, clubs can choose between deciding their fate separately – ‘Premier’ division apart from the North/South – or as a whole competition. Second, they must decide whether to complete the season or declare it null-and-void.

Stopping would mean no promotion to the EFL, which is worth the best part of £1 million.

Kevin said: “Torquay United’s excellent form brings with it the tantalising prospect of League football returning to the Bay as we build back from the impact of the pandemic.

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“It would be tragic if this fell victim to issues off the pitch, connected to the finances of the National League.

“The DCMS should consider carefully the points being made and review the decision to convert this support into a loan, rather than the much-needed grant.”

Kevin points out that the costs of clubs furloughing their staff and players will far exceed any new funding package.

He also stresses how Torbay appears to be on the brink of a revival as a holiday destination, with millions being invested in new hotels, accommodation and facilities.