Tag: Plymouth Argyle

New Year Tears As Carl Fletcher Leaves Plymouth Argyle

There was a certain inevitability about the departure of manager Carl Fletcher from League Two strugglers Plymouth Argyle. With only one win in the league since the twentieth of October and his team now just two points above the relegation places at the foot of the table, a defeat away to one of the few sides in the division still below them, Bristol Rovers, was always going to be likely to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for the Argyle owner James Brent, but there is still a hint of sadness about the first managerial departure of 2013. Fletcher himself showed great courage in giving an interview with the BBC soon after yesterday’s loss which is difficult for even the viewer to watch, and his departure from Home Park demonstrates the extent to which modern football is a game which has little truck with sentiment. When Fletcher took the job sixteen months ago, there were serious questions to be asked about the ongoing existence of the club. Having only just exited administration after having been in it for some considerable time already, Fletcher’s job last season was an uphill battle, to say the least. He eventually steered the club to twenty-first place in the League One table, two points above the relegation zone, but it was clear that such a close club with losing the club’s Football...

Read More

Match Of The Week 4: Stourbridge 2-0 Plymouth Argyle

Plymouth Argyle’s season goes from bad to worse, as they were knocked out of the FA Cup First Round by Southern League Premier Division side Stourbridge. Goals from Paul McCone and Sean Evans gave the Glassboys a well deserved victory, and the chance to face League One Stevenage in eleven days time. Unlike the game at Home Park ten days ago, the replay was a much quieter affair, with the first twenty minutes being an exercise in both teams finding their feet. The Pilgrims controlled most of the possession, with player-manager Carl Fletcher and Onismor Bhasera being Plymouth’s standout players, however, they created little. However, when Stourbridge had possession, playmaker Sean Geddes used the time and space he was given by Argyle to find his range with left-winger Sean Evans and centre-forward Ryan Rowe his favoured targets – and it would be these three players that have the Argyle defence the most problems. However, in the 21st minute saw the game’s first chance, with a centre from Evans finding Rowe who forced an excellent save from Plymouth keeper Jake Cole. Twelve minutes later came the biggest talking point, and possibly the most pivotal moment of the game. Plymouth right-back Paul Bignot had his right leg kicked from under him by Evans, and with Bignot on the ground, Evans stood over the Pilgrim, and Bignot lashed out weakly with his...

Read More

This Week In Plymouth: The Final Chapter & A New Beginning

Clever man, that James Brent, the (drum roll)… new owner of Plymouth Argyle. In the past week he has revealed himself to be far from the philanthropic ‘saviour’ many fans have keenly labelled him, while displaying a sure political touch, to protect his financial interests, against those of staff, players and administrators owed money. Yet across those same seven days, he has re-affirmed what most people outside certain parts of Cornwall, and the mind of a certain insolvency practitioner, have known for months; that he is the best available hope for Argyle’s future – by some distance. And now he has the chance to prove it. It was appropriate that administrators, the P&A Partnership, would be the last obstacle to a deal. The issue of their fees – the most money, to those who need it least – kept fans on tenterhooks to the end, threatening another e-mail bombardment of P&A offices. But when Brent made his “best and final offer” this week, even P&A grasped what “final” really meant, after months of missed “final” deadlines throughout the administration. And bout time too, as it was hardly a last-minute issue. Like almost everything that has gone wrong at Argyle since the CVA was agreed in May, it dates back to P&A and lead administrator Brendan Guilfoyle’s kid-glove treatment of Cornish property developer Kevin Heaney; on this occasion their failure...

Read More

Plymouth’s Administration: More Questions Than Answers

It is never helpful if, while writing about a situation, one of its main protagonists pipes up just before the proof-reading stage to issue a statement claiming the equivalent of “the earth is flat, the moon is made of cheese, and I’m taking my ball home if anyone argues.” So it was that Mark Murphy’s latest summary of the latest events at Plymouth Argyle was a bit rushed and disjointed. This is what he meant to say: When prospective Plymouth Argyle owner James Brent told fans at last month’s ‘Fans United’ day that “until we (buy Argyle) there’s always going to be that bit of risk”, surely even he didn’t think things would be like… this. Unless someone said: “I’ll pay the debts… and here’s £10m on top,” there were always going to be takeover issues which took time to resolve, even in a takeover as long-anticipated and popular/populist as Brent’s. But Brent has inspired an alliance of the disaffected in recent weeks; from avaricious administrators to curmudgeonly council tax payers, with even Argyle’s staff, who will be paid at last, not universally happy about just how “last.” As everyone acknowledges (except certain ‘P&A Partners’ seemingly), four months of negotiating with preferred bidder ‘Bishop International Limited’ were a waste of time and money. Kevin Heaney claimed financial wherewithal which even a Greek government fiddling Eurozone membership would have rejected...

Read More

Yesterday In Plymouth: A Tale Of Morals And Legalities

Yesterday in Plymouth, some people with lots of money demanded more money, some people with much less money were told they were getting no more money, until the people with lots of money got more money. This was morally indefensible. Doubtless, there will be people on hand to claim “it isn’t as simple as that.” And next-to-nothing in Plymouth Argyle’s seven-and-a-bit months in administration has been as simple as that. But on this occasion, I’m not so sure. Argyle’s administrators, the P&A Partnership, are owed money for work undertaken, just like everybody else connected to the club and its parent company’s administration – even Peter Ridsdale, probably. In their six-monthly report to creditors, published on October the thirdrd, they noted that their fees to September the third were £675,756 but that they had ‘only’ been paid £150,000, a little more than a fifth of what they were due – in those terms, not radically different to the situation in which staff find themselves. However, yesterday in Plymouth, P&A stepped back from a stated intention to pay staff and players a small proportion of their October salaries directly out of the gate receipts and supposedly ring-fenced season-ticket monies from last Saturday’s League Two game at Home Park against Accrington Stanley. The game was phenomenally well attended. It was the closest fixture to Argyle’s actual 125th birthday and was a ‘Fans...

Read More