Tag: Plymouth Argyle

Yesterday In Plymouth… Nearly There?

Yesterday in Plymouth, ‘Cornish-based property developer’ Kevin Heaney appeared to finally disappear from contention as the part-saviour of the Argyle Football Club, as he should have done months ago in Plymouth. And, it would seem, ‘Devon-based entrepreneur’ James Brent appeared to finally re-appear as the preferred bidder for the club, as he should have been months ago in Plymouth. There remains plenty of material with which cynics can work. However, there are genuine, if currently intangible, signs that Plymouth Argyle are closer to exiting administration with all creditors (needy and greedy) satisfied; not least, it surprises me to admit, in the attitude of the most important individual in this whole saga, Peter Ridsdale. Yesterday in Plymouth, everyone had a statement to make – Brent, Plymouth City Council leader Vivien Pengelly (an Argyle season-ticket holder) and ‘the club’ – i.e. Ridsdale. Everyone, that is, except the administrators, the P & A Partnership. It was no surprise that we heard nothing direct from lead administrator Brendan Guilfoyle, as his visibility and audibility have, probably by no co-incidence whatsoever, been in direct proportion to Heaney’s chances of completing the takeover.  But P & A Partnership themselves have had a busy week. A veritable rogues gallery of seemingly serial football club bidders and business characters of varying degrees of shade have queued up to “hold talks” with the Yorkshire-based insolvency practitioners, in the...

Read More

Yesterday In Plymouth: Heaney’s ‘Last’ Hurrah?

Yesterday in Plymouth, ‘Cornish-based property developer’ Kevin Heaney appeared to have a bluff called, ‘Devon- based entrepreneur’ James Brent appeared to be a favourite once again to buy Argyle Football Club, and the Football League, on whose board most attention focused yesterday, confirmed that they were “unable to consider a transfer of the club’s share in The Football League to the proposed purchaser at this point in time”, but that “Discussions with the administrator and proposed purchaser will continue.” Argyle’s administrators, the P & A Partnership (P&A), issued a statement at five o’clock yesterday afternoon which implied that long-term ‘preferred bidders’ for Argyle, Bishop International Limited (BIL), were no longer anything of the kind. Sales of fine tooth-combs in Devon utility stores will have soared, however, after P&A’s last statement, on twenty-sixth of August, which implied that BIL had stumped up the cash to complete their complex and controversial deal to buy Argyle, when they… hadn’t.  Heaney has been a daily news event in Plymouth this week, blaming everyone but himself for the fact that the deal had not been done. First it was the Football League, for waiting until yesterday’s board meeting before even considering making a decision. Then it was the administrators who, Heaney suggested in a statement which will have had breakfast cereals spat out on kitchen or dining-room tables all over Devon, that “there seems to be an...

Read More

Fan’s Re-United Day: Home Park, 24.09.11

Regular readers of this site will be all too aware of the recent problems that have beset Plymouth Argyle Football Club. Plymouth’s supporters, in conjunction with whose of Brighton & Hove Albion, are now planning a protest on the twenty-fourth of September to which supporters of all clubs will be welcome. Here’s Argyle supporter Dan Greet with a little background behind the protest, and an explanation as to why this isn’t just an issue that affects their club. As I am sure anyone with more than a passing interest in football is aware, Plymouth Argyle are and remain in trouble – real trouble. The imminent danger of liquidation has come to dominate all discussion at Home Park these days. Stories of players not being paid, staff being paid by the manager out of his own pocket, administration, debt and the delays securing the new owners have dominated all news relating to Argyle since March of this year. This nearly came to a head this week when there was talk of the players and staff going on strike and refusing to play today’s game at Burton. Fortunately, strike action was averted when the players and staff agreed to receive forty per cent of the wages that they are now owed for last month with the remainder to be paid upon completion of the long overdue takeover by Bishop International Ltd,...

Read More

Supporters’ Trusts: Some Hard Questions

This weekend the saga of Trust ownership at Wrexham extends. Plymouth Argyle struggle to find an ownership solution to coming out of administration. In the tales of duplicity and ineptness that abound behind these stories, the arguments in favour of the Supporters Trust movement are strengthened. Supporters’ Direct have made clear and cogent points that substantiate these arguments in their recent briefing papers. Yet are Supporters’ Trusts always best placed to take over at their clubs? The current state of financial governance in football does not make for an even playing field for supporter owned clubs. It takes tough customers to have the tenacity to stick with the principles of the Supporter Owned Model when the financial structure of the game allows your business opponents a head start in the competition, despite the fact that they often put the very existence of their ‘business’ at risk, as Supporters’ Direct’s analysis shows. The recent government enquiry into football governance opened its evaluation of supporter ownership with the bald statement, ‘The examples of bad ownership are sufficiently numerous to point to systemic failure. A case can be made that, rather than tighter regulation, a more fundamental ownership change is required.’ The report continues,  ‘The supporters trust ownership model appears to us to be one of the positive developments in English football.’ This is encouraging but the recommendations of the enquiry do little...

Read More

Yesterday In Plymouth… Strike Averted, But Club Not Saved

Yesterday in Plymouth, it nearly all kicked off, or rather it nearly didn’t. Lead administrator Brendan Guilfoyle “all-but-vanished” and somebody paid for acting chairman Peter Ridsdale to jet to the South of France, while staff at Home Park remained resolutely unpaid. Worse still… somebody paid for Ridsdale to jet back. And while this was going on, the latest issue of FC Business magazine thudded onto my doormat, with Ridsdale’s smug mug grinning up at me from the cover, advertising another part of his never-ending PR-campaign, designed to fool people into believing that his career in football has not largely been a failure. The plight of Plymouth Argyle’s great unpaid was brought to national newspaper and media attention by the idea (and headline-writer’s dream) of a “match strike” by Argyle’s senior and longest-unpaid players, including club and team captains, goalkeeper Romain Larrieu and centre-back Carl Fletcher respectively. And the very idea of a “strike” even brought it to the attention of the comrades at the Morning Star newspaper – the “only English-language socialist daily in the world”. “Comrade” Fletcher in particular caught the eye and ear by the first use of truly emotive language to come from Argyle’s squad. Having helped moot the idea on Thursday of withdrawing their labour from Argyle’s fixture at Burton Albion this afternoon, they went specific and ballistic yesterday morning. The Plymouth Herald newspaper said “the frustration spilled...

Read More