Will live streaming be answer to football financial woes?

Aaron Nemane of Torquay united leaps a challenge by rival player

Aaron Nemane of Torquay United leaps the challenge from Christian Sayde of Bournemouth under-23s during the pre-season match at Plainmoor on Tuesday. - Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Live ‘streamed’ TV coverage of matches has become an important option for Torquay United, especially if the Government impose tighter limits on crowds in the face of rising Covid-19 cases.

Talks are going on between ministers and UK sports this week, with officials at National League level and above pleading for fans to be allowed back into their grounds.

If lower division clubs cannot pull in sufficient crowds, many have already said it is a recipe for financial disaster.

So the income from live streaming of games could be vital in making up for losses in gate receipts.

United believe they can take 2,000 attendances and still meet safety protocols.

But their £4-a-time live TV coverage of pre-season wins against Hemel Hempstead Town (3-2) and AFC Bournemouth U23s (3-0) this week has gone down well enough to make it a real alternative for fans who are reluctant to attend league matches in person.

The Gulls have made no announcement yet about TV coverage once the league season starts at home to Stockport County on October 3.

But they are repeating the service for further friendlies against Chippenham Town at Plainmoor this Saturday (3pm) and away to Bath City on September 26, and all the signs are that they want to keep doing it.

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Three second-half goals, by Danny Wright (pen), Kyle Cameron and Josh Umerah, saw Torquay come from behind to beat NL South side Hemel at the weekend.

They scored three more after half-time, through Dean Moxey (60), Umerah (62) and Olaf Koszela (82), to beat the young Cherries this week in a performance which delighted manager Gary Johnson.

He was without senior players Asa Hall, Armani Little, Gary Warren, Jake Andrews, Fraser Kerr and Liam Davis on Tuesday, although several of those hope to play against either Chippenham or Bath.

“Bournemouth have high hopes for some of their boys, but I’ve got high hopes for some of ours,” said Johnson.

“Our attitude towards winning the game was first-class. When we found that bit of quality, we were dangerous and more clinical in the second half.”