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Topics - Blue_and_Gold

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General Discussion / Winning run continues
« on: March 16, 2024, 04:59:19 PM »
The Linnets come from a goal down against Rushall, to secure all 3 points.


General Discussion / Blyth Spatans new owner targets The Championship.
« on: February 26, 2024, 06:59:57 PM »

A new era began at Blyth Spartans yesterday as Irfan Liaquat’s takeover of the club was announced, but who is the new owner?

The takeover comes following a tricky few years at Blyth, the Spartans currently sit 15th in the National League North, having narrowly avoided relegation in the last two seasons with consecutive 19th place finishes.

James Raine, of the North East non-league show, said: “This is massive news for Blyth Spartans. The past few seasons have been low for Blyth starting with the Lee Clark season followed by the great escapes.

“You look at other clubs in the area like South Shields, who are looking to progress and teams such as Blyth are getting left behind by teams and specifically attracting players.”

In his first press conference after taking over Liaquat said: “The vision is to get them (Blyth) right up there at Championship level, but that will happen over time,” before adding: “We’re not naïve, we know we have to work hard to achieve that goal but we’re going to take it on a step-by-step basis.”

Mark Carruthers, a North East football writer, said: “Reaching the Championship is something very, very few non-league clubs have ever managed to achieve.”

“Ambition is never a bad thing, indeed every club should show that, but it needs to be realistic and given the costs that it would require to reach such a level, not to mention the sporting challenges they would have to overcome, I would suggest such a target at this point in time would be unrealistic.”

There are also concerns about Liaquat’s legitimacy.

The 41-year-old is currently Chairman of Winners Worldwide Limited, which is described on Liaquat’s website as: “a UK-based trade and investments platform that allows investors to grow their wealth on an international scale.”

However the company, which was founded in March 2023, has just one share which is valued at one pound, according to Companies House.

Companies House also confirms Liaquat has been the director of at least two companies that have been dissolved, City Blue Investments LTD and Million Dollar Listings LTD. 

“I have witnessed a few horror stories in over a decade of working in North East non-league football and although it is not for me to suggest Spartans could follow a similar pattern, I do believe there is a need for further clarity and for actions rather than words, to be shown by the owners,” Carruthers said

General Discussion / Another Great passes
« on: February 24, 2024, 09:10:12 PM »
Stan Bowles died today, aged 75.


General Discussion / Points shared
« on: February 24, 2024, 04:58:12 PM »
0-0 at the Walks today.

Att. 821.

General Discussion / Torquay enter Administration
« on: February 22, 2024, 08:26:09 PM »
When the money runs out.

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 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."

The decision leaves Torquay searching for a fourth owner in less than a decade.

The Gulls got to the League Two play-off final in 2011 under a consortium backed by the money of late lottery-winning supporter Paul Bristow, whose widow Thea eventually assumed full control.

She sold the club for £1 in May 2015 to a consortium of local business people, but they did not have the finances to sustain the club and it was sold in December 2016 to Osborne through his firm Gaming International, which set up Riviera Stadium Limited as its parent company.

But Osborne's tenure at Plainmoor has been controversial.

He outlined plans for a new stadium but they never got any further than meetings and artists' impressions.

Gaming International also owns Swindon's speedway team and his plans for a new stadium for the club have also never borne fruit, while he was also part of a group trying unsuccessfully to build a ground for Bristol Rovers when the club sold Eastville to the furniture firm Ikea.

"He's an absent owner, he doesn't come and watch matches," Torquay United Supporters Trust chairman Nick Brodrick told BBC Sport, ahead of a planned protest against Osborne's ownership scheduled for Saturday's home game with Aveley.

"We are very vigilant as the Trust. We have a strategy group that's been meeting regularly for the last two or three years and we have plans for any particular scenarios that might develop, like administration, liquidation, or whether it might even result in having to for a phoenix club.

"We have plans for all eventualities depending on what happens with Mr Osborne's decisions about the football club."

But, in his departing statement, Osborne was still adamant that a new stadium was key to the club's future.

"The prospect of creating a new stadium and commercial facility was the driver for the investment, the excitement to deliver something truly transformative for the club and Torbay," he said.

"I would reiterate what I have said many times, that Torquay United is blessed with fantastic, passionate support and I am sorry that we have not been able to reach our goal for the club and fans, despite significant effort and investment."

He added: "Now is the time for the club, supporters, Torbay community and the Local Authority to come together and continue on the path to the future.

"I will assist a change of ownership where and when invited. The detailed plans, proposals and related data for the proposed developments will be gifted to the club as will any time requested to assist in the future planning and development."

The club says all money that it earns from now on will be used solely to run the football club adding "legal and administration fees will not be paid from the operational cashflow".

General Discussion / Saturday v Farsley
« on: February 22, 2024, 08:16:44 PM »
Lots of the wet stuff laying around, with more forecast for tonight.

Anyone seen the pitch recently?

Views on Saturdays game being played or postponed?

I know there's time for things to improve but I would have thought it was wet enough already, without todays rain.

General Discussion / Relegation battle.
« on: February 10, 2024, 05:37:35 PM »
Southport's 3-1 home win today pushes us back into the bottom 4 and into the relegation zone.

General Discussion / Grant Holt
« on: January 29, 2024, 02:00:28 PM »
Ex Linnet Grant Holt announces that he is part of Consortium that will be involved in running Dereham Town FC, along with local business people.

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