FORMER TORQUAY United goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik is helping the Gulls through a difficult financial period even though he left Plainmoor six months ago.
Olejnik's appearances for Championship club Peterborough United are earning Torquay vital income and helping to make up for their first-round exit from the FA Cup.
United sold the popular Olejnik to the Posh in the summer.
The total package is worth £350,000 – £250,000 as the transfer fee plus £100,000 based on appearances.
The £250,000 is being paid in instalments over the next two years.
But the appearances clause gives United £10,000 every time that Olejnik completes ten Football League appearances for Posh, up to 100.
Even though Peterborough have struggled at the bottom of the Championship this season, the former Aston Villa and Falkirk player has held his place at London Road.
Olejnik, 26, has already played in all of Posh's 21 league games this season – worth £20,000 to the Gulls.
"People believe that we made a lot of money from selling Bobby Olejnik, Eunan O'Kane and Mark Ellis in the summer, and we did our best to get the best deals possible in the current climate," said United's managing director Bill Phillips.
"But most of the money is paid in instalments, and the total won't be with us for some time.
"We never budget for an FA Cup run, but it would be fair to say that going out in the First Round this year was a blow.
"Life is very tight at the moment.
"So Bobby Olejnik's appearances for Peterborough have been very valuable for us, especially without the FA Cup monies."
Attendances throughout the League are suffering – a combination of the recession and the time of year – and United are no different.
A crowd of 2,069, their lowest in League Two this season, watched them beat Dagenham & Redbridge in their last home game.
This Saturday, a big pre-Christmas shopping day, sees Northampton Town, including former Gulls forwards Bayo Akinfenwa and Jake Robinson, visit Plainmoor.
United will have their captain Lee Mansell and Joe Oastler back from suspension, but centre-back Brian Saah starts a three-match ban of his own.
THE St Luke's Devon Bowl quarter-final between holders Buckland Athletic and Torquay United will be held at Homers Heath, Newton Abbot, on Wednesday, January 16 (7.45pm).