Every Wednesday in the Herald Express, our Torquay United correspondent Richard Hughes takes a sideways look at what's going on in the world of the Gulls. This week, he takes a look at the rumours around if the Brewdog boss is the mystery buyer for the Gulls

Speculation that someone from the craft beer giants Brewdog is behind the ‘preferred bid’ to buy Torquay United has been fermenting online ever since the administrators basically told us they wouldn’t be telling us anything last week. Way to go, administrators, because more silence from the club that suffered from years of no-information under the Clarke Osborne regime is exactly what every Torquay United fan wanted to hear.

I get it. I do. The sale of a club is not going to be straightforward, and no one is suggesting the potential new owners should be hold a fancy dress party in Boots & Laces to herald their preferred bidder status – but perhaps a clear nod to the fans, a ‘here we are, and we’ll chat when we’re ready’, wouldn’t have gone amiss.

The fact that a ‘liked’ tweet can be construed as ‘Brewdog to the rescue’ just goes to show what can happen in an information vacuum. That someone high up in the company may or may not have a partner who comes from Torquay, may or may not mean the slightest thing. But when there is little else to cling to – may or may not, may or may not mean anything or everything.

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But, while sales of Elvis Juice may or may not have shot up in the bay last week, there are some fans who are supping in darker corners, and considering the possibility that someone from the existing board may or may not be behind this preferred bid. To some people, that is unthinkable – and at least one fan suggested to me this week that if this is the case, and a bid by one of the current directors is successful, they won’t be going to Plainmoor again.

I do understand that chief executive George Edwards and director Mel Hayman have been working hard to keep the club going while it was out of administration, and are now that it is in, but the idea of two people that are so closely associated with the former owner getting their hands on the club is just so unpalatable to many. That outcome could be a death knell. So while there is no information – all we can do is throw our hands in the air and wonder out loud, online, on X, and in the echo chambers of our WhatsApp groups.

Goal celebration for Asa Hall of Torquay United during National League South match between Taunton Town and Torquay United at Wordsworth Drive on 16 April, 2024 in Taunton , England (Photo by Mat Mingo/PPAUK)

I do feel a slight disappointment that the Michael Westcott-Torquay United Supporters’ Trust bid didn’t get the nod of approval. Don’t get me wrong, everyone wants a Brewdog millionaire these days, but Westcott talked well about his thoughts for the future of the club, and TUST might have been able to get its 50% stake.

But there was a glaring problem with that bid. Money. There not being enough of it. Mr Westcott and his friends might have been able to get their hands on a decent amount of cash to buy the club, especially if TUST’s idea of some kind of ‘community share issue’ was a goer – but when you own a football club in the lower reaches of the game, and you are professional in a part-time market, deep pockets are essential.

I could never really see the TUST model working at Torquay, however well it has at Exeter City. There were just not enough people with enough money involved. Maybe in the future – but not now.

Which leaves us with motivation. Why buy a football club when it might cost you a packet to keep it running, especially if you want to keep it full time?

Well, there are those who do it for love. Think of those rich businessmen who have had success at clubs like Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic, Middlesbrough and Reading – but, again, you really have to have enough money to show that much love. There is adventure.

Nearly every boy’s dream (and yes, some girls’ too) is to play football. If you weren’t good enough, but end up with the kind of money to play with anyway, how about buying a club instead? There is Hollywood of course, and there are the property developers. Let’s hope we have seen the back of them.

Goal celebration for Brett McGavin of Torquay United during National League South match between Taunton Town and Torquay United at Wordsworth Drive on 16 April, 2024 in Taunton , England (Photo by Mat Mingo/PPAUK)

And then there are the romantics – the kind of people who might have Brewdollars hanging out of their back pockets, and whose partner said: ‘Oh, look at this! Torquay United is for sale,’ after the club put out that cheeky tweet the day after Osborne made his big announcement in February.

Whoever ends up finally coming out and saying ‘it’s us! Surprised?’ let’s hope they do it sooner rather than later. One esteemed former colleague of mine said this week that fans need information or they won’t buy season tickets. He is right. Give us something to really cling to. Tell us who you are – and let’s look forward to the future together.

We could all raise an ice-cold can of Brewdog Punk IPA to that this summer, couldn’t we?

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