Torquay United has announced one ‘preferred bidder’ to take over ownership of the club and it is not believed to be the consortium involving Torquay United Supporters Trust (TUST), former manager Neil Warnock and a group of local businessmen.

Former chairman Clarke Osborne stepped away from the club in February and Torquay, who were subsequently deducted ten points by the National League, were formally placed into administration last week.

The TUST-led consortium was the only group to publicly declare their interest in taking over the club and Warnock was working in an advisory role behind the scenes, but administrators are clearly leaning toward a yet unnamed bidder instead.

The full club statement read: “Torquay United AFC is pleased to advise its supporters that a preferred bidder to take over the Club has now been identified.

“Following on from the announcement last Friday that Scott Kippax, Neil Vinnicombe and Simon Haskew of Begbies Traynor have been appointed as joint administrators of the Club, extensive work and discussions have been taking place behind the scenes over the past few days.

“Out of the firm bids received by TUFC, one party has now been identified as the preferred bidder.

“Although the preferred bidder will remain confidential at this stage, this news is the latest, and perhaps most significant yet, towards securing the Club’s long-term future.

“We will continue to provide supporters with further updates as and when possible, however in the meantime, we would like to place on record our thanks to all bidding parties, the Club’s staff, National League, Sport England, Lloyds Bank, Club’s creditors and most of all our beloved supporters for their hard work, assistance, generosity and patience during the past two months.”