Torquay United ‘preferred bidders' revealed by administrators

Torquay United’s administrators have finally revealed who their ‘preferred bidders’ are – and they are not the same potential owners that the administrators ‘preferred’ previously.

In a short statement on the club’s website, administrators Scott Kippax, Neil Vinnicombe and Simon Haskew of Begbies Traynor said: “We can confirm that The Bryn Consortium of Michael Westcott, Tom Allen, Mark Bowes-Cavanagh, Rob Hawes and Simon Robinson is the preferred bidder in the proposed sale of Torquay United AFC Limited.

“During the past week, The Bryn Consortium has emerged as the party that can provide the best prospects for both the club and its creditors in the immediate and longer term.”

Read More - Torquay United Supporters Trust ready if bidders back out

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Westcott and Torquay United Supporters’ Trust launched a joint bid but confirmed after the administrators publicly backed an unnamed bid that they were not the ‘preferred bidders’. But that has changed in the last week, with Westcott and his Bryn Consortium members Tom Allen, Mark Bowes-Cavanagh, Rob Hawes and Simon Robinson now in the driving seat to take the club on.

Over the last week there were rumours that talks between the ‘preferred bidders’ and the administrators were not going well, and Nick Brodrick of Torquay United Supporters’ Trust told the Herald Express and Devon Live this week that they were willing to be a ‘safety net’ if talks broke down.

Brodrick said this morning: "On what is the club's 125th birthday, TUST welcomes the statement released by the administrator today. Our discussions with the Bryn Consortium led by Michael Westcott are positive and on-going."

Once again, 'preferred bidders' are subject to restrictions over how much they can say, and so are TUST. However, the original idea was for TUST to raise money to be part of the original Westcott bid through a community share option. The plan for TUST was to raise enough money to take on 50% of the club.

The announcement finally ends the online speculation that the new owners might be craft beer giants Brewdog. There is now likely to be another period of silence from all parties involved - but at least the fans now know talks are ongoing with a named consortium.

Bryn was of course the name of the police dog that bit player Jim McNichol in 1987, in a last-day game against Crewe Alexandra. In the time added on for McNichol's injury to be treated, Paul Dobson scored the goal to make it 2-2 and save Torquay from dropping out of the Football League in the first season of automatic relegation.

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