Steve Breed Question & Answer Thread

Discuss all the latest news at Plainmoor with fans.

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Steve Breed Question & Answer Thread

Post by stephen breed » 18 Jan 2018, 11:48

Post by lucy6lucy » Yesterday, 21:05

Why wasn't paul Cox on a paid contract from day one, and whose decision was it if not to offer a contract

Hi Lucy

There was an agreement in place that both Paul Cox and John Ramshaw and the club would sit down at the end of September and discuss a contract going forward. Initially both Paul and John where happy to come in on expenses until as a club we had more of an idea on plans going forward and what we could have offered in terms of a package going forward to both parties sadly we didn't get to the end of September. Paul and John both remain very good friends who I speak to regularly to this day and both have no issues with me over what happened.. stephen


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Post by stephen breed » 18 Jan 2018, 11:51

Post by lucy6lucy » Yesterday, 21:06

Was Hargreaves really on an annual salary of over 150k as reported?

Lucy

It would not be morally correct to comment on another employees salary but I think I can safely say whoever said that to you had his fill of magic mushrooms that day... Stephen


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Post by stephen breed » 18 Jan 2018, 12:10

Post by CP Gull » Yesterday, 21:19

Hi Steve - good to see you back on here!

I won't ask you to confirm whether or not Kevin Nicholson was your first choice or not - but would be interested to know who you would have liked to have replaced Chris Hargreaves? I know at the time your initial thoughts were to go for someone experienced at this level - before Nicho even applied. At the time I hoped we might go for Neil Aspin - just sacked by Halifax - who was someone I would have liked to see us go for. He has since gone on to bigger and better things of course (Gateshead and now Port Vale). Just wondered if he was ever a realistic target? Or was he out of our price bracket? Ultimately I guess it wasn’t your decision who was appointed at the end of the day?

Chris

Hi C P Gull

Hope you are well Chris.

3 Parts to this answer When we placed Chris Hargreaves on gardening leave we pretty much knew that Paul cox was our man I was personally delighted With the capture of Paul he had experience of winning the league and holding his own in league 2 and in bringing in John Ramshaw I felt it was the perfect team to take the club on and stabilize the playing side of the club. When Paul left I was personally devastated I knew the ramifications would be huge and take this from me I personally did everything I could to not only keep Paul but virtually agree to him coming back for the Boreham wood game on the Tuesday night. sadly from my perspective the club decided to go in a different direction.

Neil Aspin was never a realistic target He had only just been sacked at his previous club and no contact was ever made he did not apply for the job. I took general control of the process to find a new manager and presented to the board thoughts and my feelings on the matter. We had 4 very strong applicants for the job and they where all interviewed using a thorough process between 2 board members and myself conducting those interviews. For the record Kevin Nicholson is a close personal friend of mine and knows completely my views on him being appointed manager so I am not breaking any trusts here. I don't think it will come as any great surprise that I was against appointing Kevin as manager not only for the club where I felt we had better options but for Kevin himself how is now suffering for his decision to become manager at the club.

Will Kevin get another job in football that is very debatable as I think Chris Hargreaves found out when he left Torquay. I think that Kevin should have become a number 2 and learnt his trade before stepping into a situation like we found ourselves in at Torquay. Despite my opinions and the fact that Kevin was not even in my top 3 the board asked me to appoint Kevin and the rest we say is history. So the answer is Chris no Kevin was not my choice whatsoever for his and our sake and I would have much preferred a more experienced manager so Kevin could have worked alongside him to gain the knowledge before stepping into the top job... Stephen


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Post by stephen breed » 18 Jan 2018, 13:15

Post by SenorDingDong » Yesterday, 20:22

First of all, thank you for giving us this opportunity Steve. Few questions although I fully understand if you can't answer them at all or only provide certain information, don't say anything that would compromise yourself:

The Phillips Regime (probably likely not to be answered)

1. What was the reasoning behind the 1800 break even figure being so wrong in the first season under the Phillips board? We were told that it was a break even figure, yet despite the fans achieving that, the club staggered from crisis to crisis before the GI loan. Just how dangerously indebted (or how many liabilities remained) was the supposed 'debt free club' you inherited? Did Paul Cox really leave because of a dodgy car and not being paid a wage - if so why on earth did we have a DOF on £30k a year?

2. Why did the club go to GI for a loan rather than working with the fans? Was Norman Smurthwaithe's interest real? Was any due diligence done at all on Clarke Osborne and his company? The fans on the three forums had worked out a potted history of the company within days of the news of their involvement breaking. His involvement at Bristol Rovers and Hereford is quite damning before you look at his actions in other sports.

3. What was behind the blocking of communication between a board that swept in claiming to be 'the most fan friendly ever' and the fans, was it the influence of Peter Masters? Communication during the 2nd half of the Phillips regime was worse than under Bateson or Roberts - not due to you but because of the utter secrecy that the board operated under.

4. Following on from 3, what was behind Dave Phillips boldly stating that the club would not be sold to GI just weeks before the club was sold...to GI. Were there any other viable bidders? Furthermore why did the club deliberately string along the TUST, deny them the opportunity to try and fund a purchase of the club and treat them shoddily? Was this Peter Masters too? Amongst all the shenanigans of the past 5 years the stringing along of the TUST, eliminating any time for them to put together a proposal was perhaps the worst action perpetrated upon the fans.

5. The Truro City groundshare option. What was behind this baffling development? A front for Masters to get his foot in the door at the club via an injection of capital for a service never intended to be needed? Did the 'American' stadium developers ever actually exist?

The Future (Where you're likely to be able to answer)

1. What is your view on GI? Are we all being irresponible doom mongers or are our fears substantiated?

2. If you do think the club is in trouble, having worked behind the scenes and know more about the politics of the club and football than most of us, what would you advise to be the best way we can help in fighting to save the club?

3. What are your views on the Herald Express' utter silence over the entire matter and reluctance to even print basic information about GI/Clarke Osborne's background and involvement in sports?

4. Do you think the club is viable in it's present state and could it survive running full time in the National League South?

5. Do you still believe that the TUST option is a flawed model and if so does the club have a future? We have clearly tapped out any wealthy individuals in the region that want/have the ability to invest into the club. Exeter City seem to be proving that a supporters trust owned team can do well...well with a few lucky cup draws.



Hi Senor

A fair load of questions there I will do my best to answer them but obviously there are some things I cant and wont reveal.


The 1800 hundred break even figure was an estimated guess however what we did not foresee was going from 10 people pledges to 6 people pledges to 4 people pledges In a 2 month period and the level of staff redundancy requirements and previous court claims all served to make the initial 1800 figure incorrect.. Paul cox did not leave the club over a car but there where issues with the director of football that was a situation the club and myself where never proud of yet did what we could to try and resolve sadly I failed.. The director football as you know left his position 2 days after Paul did please remember Dean Edwards was a huge part in getting the group together which came in and therefore kept his job at Torquay united..


I have already answered regarding the G I loan Norman Smurthwaites interest in Torquay is very real I would also class Norman as a friend of mine so I can speak of that question with total knowledge of the situation, I think Norman would buy Torquay in a heart beat. Due diligence is another thing I cant comment on from a clubs position I can safely say I did my own research but as I spent the better part of 2 months hardly being spoken to I cant say either way as to what the club did in relation to any checks.


Something Dave Phillips and I totally agreed on was the need to communication at the club he was all for fans forums statements press releases the works however throughout the regime there was a serious breach with information being leaked out of the club things where going on forums and this caused massive issues. I cant blame the club at all for the stance in took in this matter it was only after I left the club did I find out the source of the leak and so did the chairman sadly the chairman was treated disgustingly..


I cannot comment on Dave stating that the club would not be sold to G I I simply was not there at that time Dave said and did everything he could with the resources to hand. What you have to remember is Dave Merve and others where not rich people they did everything they could to keep the club afloat. I don't believe for one Minuit that Dave strung the trust along actually nor any other board member. Do I think there where other viable bidders well if there was I don't think for A second that G I would own the club today if Dave would have had options. He called it how he seen it at the time what that man has gone through is an absolute disgrace I realize people have there own opinions and will disagree with me about Dave but his heart bleeds this club ask yourselves who else stepped up when the going got tough we pleaded for extra help he did I did we all did. I think Dave deserves far more credit than he will ever receive and that comes from a man who told him straight to his face how much he hated his guts for which I am immensely sorry for..



Truro Ground share would have been a good short term solution to a financial shortfall but going forward the money would have been negated as there would have had to be large work needed on the pitch to have coped with the extra games. The American investors defiantly existed I met them several times they where a very decent bunch of men. however the obstacles at the time for this project where just to big to cross.



My view on G I is simple they inherited a tough situation like we did but you only have to spend a few minuets googling to start alarm bells ringing. My hope is that they see Torquay as a football project going forward and they start to communicate properly with fans and trusts alike to pave a way for a rosier future..



My view is that all the fans and I mean all pull in one direction and attempt to either find a buyer or communicate effectively with G I to gain fans representation on the board to share feelings and thoughts. At the moment there is a huge them and us scenario going on and that cant be good for anyone concerned perhaps trust is the answer..


Yes I believe the club is viable and could survive relegation and in order to try and get promoted next season would have to stay full time going part time for me would be an admitting to fail and suicidal if the club has any real ambition of returning to former glories ..


I have spent A few years answering for a comment I made in a meeting at the museum about trusts being a flawed model. In reality What I said was you cant use the likes of Exeter city as a model to base yourselves on as there trust model has had horrendous issues and at the time they had gone to the pfa 3 times for loans in a year to support this trust model . However going forward looking at a club like Wrexham who's model seams to work really well there really is no reason to suggest that a fans owned club at Torquay could not be successful it takes time dedication and the right leadership and very willing volunteers so why not go for it what's there to lose...


Stephen


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Post by stephen breed » 18 Jan 2018, 15:46

Hi all

Just for the record whether I agree or disagreed with Kevin Nicholson's appointment as manager it was certainly the boards choice which was totally within its remit where they wrong well Kevin kept Torquay up so in hindsight they where proved right to appoint him.

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Post by Southampton Gull » 18 Jan 2018, 16:34

Amen.

Steve, can you confirm what his remit was?

Was he tasked with keeping the club in the National League or was he given a budget and expected to get us promoted?
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Post by stephen breed » 18 Jan 2018, 16:42

easy answer Dave keep us in the league which he achieved

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Post by Southampton Gull » 18 Jan 2018, 17:09

I'm glad expectations were realistic and given the circumstances I think this above all others is the salient point. While you were CEO you had different issues thrown at you but the club was always the main concern for you. It's a shame others before and since didn't feel the same.
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Post by SenorDingDong » 18 Jan 2018, 18:11

stephen breed wrote:
18 Jan 2018, 13:15
Post by SenorDingDong » Yesterday, 20:22
*Snipped for length*
Stephen
Many thanks for your thorough answers to all my questions Steve and for taking the time in answering them, you went far beyond what I expected and they were a real eye-opener. I'm especially intrigued about the Norman Smurthwaithe situation, if only he could have sold off Port Vale - I would trust him more with the club than GI despite his eccentricities. Thank you once more for your efforts with our club and I hope that one day you're in a position when you can regularly return to watch matches and that we still have a club in the future for that to happen.

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Post by Southampton Gull » 18 Jan 2018, 19:48

Perhaps now we can all put to bed any arguments over me stating that Norman Smurthwaite was a genuinely interested party but who can blame him for not wanting to become a GI bedfellow.
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Post by kevgull » 19 Jan 2018, 07:38

Hi Steve,
We can’t change the past but we can change the future.
How concerned are you with regards to the current management setup/ league position and what advice would you give TUFC supporters?

Just for the record, I think you have and will always have the club at heart. Forget the comments of the 2 or 3 abusive fans and remember those who were grateful that you took up the challenge and are honest enough to tell us about the good and not so good decisions that any inexperienced CEO might have made.
COYY!!
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SBG

Post by SBG » 19 Jan 2018, 08:38

Steve

Can you say what happened - what was the issue/final straw that suddenly happened - such that you were ostracised and no longer spoken to for the last 2 months of your tenure. I cant believe it


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Post by torregull » 19 Jan 2018, 09:04

How influential was Peter Masters on decisions made by the Board during your time at the club-what's your opinion of him?


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Post by stephen breed » 22 Jan 2018, 09:25

Post by kevgull » 19 Jan 2018, 07:38

Hi Steve,
We can’t change the past but we can change the future.
How concerned are you with regards to the current management setup/ league position and what advice would you give TUFC supporters?

Just for the record, I think you have and will always have the club at heart. Forget the comments of the 2 or 3 abusive fans and remember those who were grateful that you took up the challenge and are honest enough to tell us about the good and not so good decisions that any inexperienced CEO might have made.
COYY!!

Hi Kev

My opinion is that the current set up simply isn't working the results sadly speak for themselves. However I am not in the blame owers camp for everything if he is having to work under the same constraints as the previous manager then take this from me no manager would be able to succeed. The league position is awful and sadly Torquay will not stay up this season I also happen to think that the league below will be no picnic despite the fact that torquay will be one of the biggest teams in in the league you have to fight fight and more fight to win that league and I doubt the club or the present manager have the stomach for that as they are showing at the moment.


As for advice well that's simple stick together as you can see on this forum there are major divisions in the fan base strike no strike back the club don't back the club trust or no trust people are very clever at dividing the fans here remember there is far more safety in numbers than not. If you all go in one direction then you will be amazed at what you can achieve. The main reason our board failed was division in the ranks everybody having different agendas sadly that is the best recipe to fail... stephen


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Post by stephen breed » 22 Jan 2018, 09:33

Post by SBG » 19 Jan 2018, 08:38

Steve

Can you say what happened - what was the issue/final straw that suddenly happened - such that you were ostracised and no longer spoken to for the last 2 months of your tenure. I cant believe


Hi SBG

I can only answer this to a point. I have already alluded to the fact that there was a huge information leak from the club and what do you do in that situation you surround yourselves with the people that you think you trust best or plant stories to see if they come back to you via unorthodox routes. The basic fact that the board kept everything to themselves I was taken out of that Loup which by the way in the end proved it was not me as the chairman found to his cost towards the end of his reign. It was a very tough time for me personally simply because the last 2 months the team really picked up and I should have been able to enjoy that battle and win against relegation rather than walk about with a big target painted to my front and back .. stephen

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