TISA notes the recent statement made by TCFC informing us that the club has finalised an agreement to ground share with Torquay United at Plainmoor for season 2016/17. Whilst we welcome finally having some clarity as to where we will be playing our home games next season, we remain concerned that the agreement is for only one year and with full planning consent outstanding on Treyew Road and Silver Bow and no certainty over when or even if we will ever move to Silver Bow, that still leaves the football club potentially homeless at the end of next season.
In light of our concerns above we therefore call upon Chairman and Co-owner Peter Masters to answer the following questions:
1. Why was the ground share agreement limited to one year only?
2. What specifically is causing the delays in getting full planning consent to both Treyew Road and Silver Bow?
3. What is the contingency plan in the event that Silver Bow is not ready for occupation at the end of next season as seems likely?
4. How much longer are Helical Retail funding the day-to-day running of the club and (given that any gate receipts from our time at Plainmoor would likely not even cover the rental costs, let alone the full running costs of the club) how are you planning on funding the club going forward?
5. What are the conditions under which the debt you and the co-owner have put into the club in the form of Director’s loans (which is understood to be approximately £750K) are repaid to you by Helical Retail or otherwise written off?
6. Outside of the ground share agreement with Torquay United, do you or any other Directors of TCFC have any direct business relationship with Torquay United Football Club or Plainmoor Ltd or made any investment into either company? Do you or any other Directors of TCFC have any plans to further develop a business relationship with either company?
Furthermore and whilst we may now have to accept that we are moving to Torquay, come what may, next season, we certainly do not accept that sufficient effort has been put in over the last 18 months to properly explore any opportunities to ground share in Cornwall. Of course we recognise that this would not be possible without significant funding of a 'Cornish' solution and we equally recognise the ridiculous scenario that the club currently finds itself in, having to pay out approximately £100K for infrastructure at Treyew Road, only to knock it all down a few weeks later when we vacate the ground for ever. This money could have contributed towards a 'Cornish' solution which would have benefited both Truro City and its fans by keeping the club playing in Cornwall and also benefited the club in Cornwall whose ground we would have shared. Surely this would have improved Truro City's standing in the community and help attract further sponsorship and funding.
Finally, TISA reiterates its statements made on December 21st and November 16th 2015 where we called for Mr Masters to keep his word and leave a legacy for the city of Truro and its football club supporters by placing the playing surface at Silver Bow into a properly governed Supporters Trust to protect it for future generations. We note the interview he gave on BBC Radio Cornwall recently (01/03/2016) when he said he would "leave a legacy" and we therefore call upon him to detail what this legacy will be and how it will be delivered.
Simon Birch – Truro Independent Supporters Association (TISA) Secretary