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Former EFL club likely to go part-time as they fight to keep seventh tier status

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TORQUAY UNITED face the prospect of losing their status as a professional football club.

The former EFL stalwarts are fighting to keep their spot in the National League South, England’s sixth tier of football.

Torquay United could stop being a professional club

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Torquay United could stop being a professional clubCredit: Rex

Torquay were in League Two as recently as 2014 before being relegated to the National League.

Following Monday’s 3-3 draw with Weston-super-Mare, the club sit just five points above the NLS relegation zone.

This happened after the Gulls were handed a ten-point deduction following owner Clarke Osborne’s admission that he could no longer fund the club.

The deduction came after his intentions to appoint administrators.

There are multiple parties keen on buying the club, from local businesses and supporters.

However, prospective owner Michael Westcott has insisted that the club may have to take a step back before returning to the Football League.

This could also include seeing the club stop having a “full-time professional squad”.

He told BBC Radio Devon: “We have to get realistic.

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“This is a club that is losing a lot of money and that’s why we’re on the brink of administration.

“There isn’t this enormous gulf in class between part-time and full-time football at our level – we’ve sat here in horror all season and seen how we’ve been played off the park by well-organised, well-marshalled part-time teams.

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“Our long-term goal is to get us back into the Football League as a competitive, full-time professional outfit that potentially yo-yo’s between League One and League Two.

“But we need to establish a firm and solid foundation from which we can build on a different model.

“No options are off the table as far as we’re concerned and if part of that model dictates that in our first year under new fan ownership that we need to take a step back from being a full-time professional squad in total, then we need to consider that.

“As we progress we can then move to a hybrid model then ultimately to a full-time professional model that we think is required to get back into the English Football League.”

Last season the club reported losses of almost £100,000 as they were relegated from the National League.

Former Soccer AM presenter Helen Chamberlain is Torquay’s most well-known supporter and she took every opportunity to mention her beloved team on the classic  Sky Sports show.

She even has the club’s crest tattooed on her bum.

Helen Chamberlain is a famous fan of the Gulls

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Helen Chamberlain is a famous fan of the GullsCredit: PA:Press Association
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