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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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When is a city a city?

Some clubs from relatively small towns have the name 'City' after their title, e.g., Ely City.   This is because they are the home to a cathedral, but the secular status of being a 'city' is quite different.   It has been recently granted to Brighton and Wolverhampton, for example.

Gulls takeover reaches crisis point

The prospective takeover of Torquay United has reached crisis point with bidders Gaming International issuing what the Torquay United Supporters Trust has described as an ultimatum to Torbay Council.

It has now emerged that Swindon-based Gaming International, operating through their subsidiary Riviera International Limited, want to take ownership of Plainmoor and then build a new ground elsewhere. Torbay Council currently own the freehold of Plainmoor.   It is quite an extensive site in a built up area of Torquay with development potential.

Gulls fans still in the dark

Torquay United fans are still in the dark about the club's future after its annual general meeting.  The takeover deal with Swindon-based Gaming International seems to be stuck in the sand.  Moreover, the cash strapped club may have to pay back a £50,000 loan if the deal falls through.

Uncertain future for Worcester City

Worcester City face an uncertain future after a plan to turn the club into a community benefit society was rejected by shareholders.   This is something which has helped clubs like FC United and Lewes to attract significant investment.

Derbies bring in the crowds

The ability of local derbies to attract big crowds is shown in the attendance figures for the National League and its north and south divisions for the 2015-16 seasons.

The biggest crowd in the National League was for the Lincolnshire derby between Grimsby and Lincoln (7.650).  This was followed by Tranmere Rovers versus Chester (7.433) and Wrexham versus Tranmere Rovers (6,707).

Three way tussle for Dagenham and Redbridge

Relegated Dagenham & Redbridge are hardly the most glamorous club in London, but there is a three way tussle to acquire the club.   

Shirt sponsors deny cannabis link

Torquay United's new shirt sponsors have emphatically denied that their company name has any link with cannabis.   420 Skatestore is a skatestore clothing company.   In the United States 420 is a slang term associated with cannabis.  Gulls supporters have jokingly speculated on social media whether the team will appear with a cannabis leaf on their shirts.

National League sets ambitious targets

The National Leage has set itself some ambitous targets in a new four year strategy entitled 'Growing our Game' covering the period 2016 to 2020.

It wants to increase annual attendances from 1.5m to 1.7m.  It wants live broadcast matches to go up from 25 to 40 per seaon and to increase commercial revenues by 50 per cent.   The target for social media following is an increase from 750,000 to 1 million.

Truro City need £500,000

Truro City need half a million pounds of investment if they are to make it into the National League.  This year they lost in the play-off semi-final.

Peter Masters and Phillip Perryman took control of the club in 2012 when it was on the verge of liquidation.   £25,000 has been pumped into the club every month this season.  It will soon be debt free.

How viable is the project to have a top flight non-league club in Cornwall?  It is a rugby county and many incomers have allegiances elsewhere.   There are also pockets of support for Plymouth Argyle.

Takeover at Welling

A deal is expected to be concluded which will lead to former Crystal Palace chairman Mark Goldberg taking majority control at Welling United.   The Wings have been relegated to the National League South.

Barry Hobbins has been involved with the club since it was formed in 1963, at one time sharing ownership with his brother who passed away.