Tag: Plymouth Argyle

Insurgam! A Players Strike At Plymouth?

Sometimes, help can come from the most unexpected of sources. Last Friday, it was announced to a mixture of joy and relief – probably more of the latter than the former, considering the shenanigans of the last few months – that Plymouth Argyle Football Club had been saved. After repeated broken deadlines and wage deferrals for the longest-suffering staff in British football, we were told in an official statement that, “Bishop International Limited has secured the necessary funding and everything is agreed between the numerous parties” in order to complete the sale of the club and its ground to the Gibraltar-based company, who would take ownership of its Home Park ground and bring in Peter Ridsdale as the Chief Executive of the club. That, some might have thought, would be that. The vigil being held at the ground was called off, and perhaps a takeover which some had started to believe had no substance behind it could actually get moving in a positive direction. Seasoned Plymouth watchers, however, would have known that this story would not genuinely reach its conclusion until the fat lady began to sing, and that this deadline being “met” was merely the sound of said lady clearing her throat. Peter Ridsdale said, in a comment which subsequent events have somewhat undermined, that, “I think the staff are happy tonight – they’ve been through turmoil for...

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Yesterday In Plymouth: The Final -Or Penultimate? – Chapter

Yesterday in Plymouth, Argyle Football Club was saved from extinction’s brink. Lead administrator Brendan Guilfoyle said he was “satisfied that Bishop International Limited has secured the necessary funding and everything is agreed between the numerous parties.” And he possibly sparked city-wide guessing games by adding that it had been a “complex deal involving a dozen stakeholders.”  Amid the celebration and relief these words have brought to Argyle’s (genuinely) “long-suffering” supporters, it might seem rather pedantic to point out that Guilfoyle didn’t actually say Bishop (BIL) had paid any money over yet. It might also seem rather churlish to point out that if the Football League apply their ownership regulations properly there is no way they would accept the deal which appears to have been agreed.  Cornish property developer Kevin Heaney and Argyle acting chairman Peter Ridsdale are among the aforementioned dozen stakeholders. And even the celebratory reports of yesterday’s events explain why their roles are at odds with those League regulations. BIL remain a firm “led by (Heaney).” As part of the deal, Heaney’s firm will “fund this season’s estimated £1.2m losses.” Heaney remains the chairman of Truro City Football Club and regulations do not allow for individuals to have “any power whatsoever to influence the financial, commercial and business affairs” of more than one club. Nor do they allow individuals “to guarantee the debts and obligations” of more...

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Yesterday In Plymouth, Part… Umm…

Yesterday in Plymouth, Argyle’s lead administrator Brendan Guilfoyle said an incredible thing… no, wait, I know he’s been saying incredible things since the start of Argyle’s spell in administration in March (and some Luton and Crystal Palace fans might be prepared to go further back in history than that). But, even for Guilfoyle, this was incredible – in both the truest and general senses of the word: “If I need to speak to James Brent and the Contingency Group, I will do, but it will be a considerable challenge to deliver their offer. I undertook to talk with the rescue group on Saturday but some of the correspondence with it suggests they don’t understand the situation.” This begged one question: “Whose fault is that?” That begged one answer: Brendan Ambrose Guilfoyle. Now, to re (mad) cap just a little bit. In May, Guilfoyle chose Bishops International Limited (BIL) as “preferred bidder” over local entrepreneur James Brent. This was on the basis of the preparedness to fund the administration and pay £1m for exclusivity in negotiations. Brent said he wouldn’t, unless all other potential bids failed and he was guaranteed that a deal for the club would be done. BIL said they would… but didn’t. BIL, alongside PAFC (125) Limited, the new company formed by prospective football supremo Peter Ridsdale, were allowed to maintain exclusivity for months – and missed financial deadlines –...

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On The Subject Of Deadlines… A Big Week For Wrexham & Plymouth Argyle

Two clubs are facing deadlines in the near future after months of insecurity, but while Wrexham now seem likely to be headed towards a brighter future, Plymouth Argyle supporters are probably at the point now of not believing anyone until the take-over of their club is ratified by the Football League. Ian King will be looking at Wrexham’s day of destiny, but first here’s Mark Murphy on the continuing uncertainty at Home Park. The – Increasingly Frequent – Plymouth Argyle Update   If Peter Ridsdale is to be believed – and who could ever doubt him – yesterday in Plymouth was the first day of “absolutely the biggest week in the history of (Plymouth Argyle).” And, in the sense that it could be the last week in the history of the club, Argyle acting chairman and prospective football club owner Ridsdale was – for once – right.  After weeks and months of meaningless deadlines, there is a strong sense among Argyle fans, officials, takeover protagonists and observers that this is, in fact, it; that this coming Friday August 26th is a proper deadline. Cross it and Argyle could be shot. There remain two discrete obstacles in the way of the takeover. Nothing major, mind. Just the legality of the Bishop International Limited (BIL) purchase of Argyle’s ground and surrounding land assets; and the legal issues – football and general –...

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Pilgrim’s Regress, Part Two: Five Minutes With Sparks

What better way to continue a mini-series of articles on Plymouth Argyle than to miss a deadline. Today’s words of distinctly finite wisdom from the South-West were actually spoken four days ago and published the day before the day before yesterday. So I’m late already. It must be too much exposure to the Pilgrims’ takeover trauma. Plymouth Argyle’s lead administrator Brendan Guilfoyle of the P&A Partnership has never shied away from his publicity responsibilities (and that doesn’t always mean self-publicity). He has often been the antithesis of the “whatever you say, say nothing” school of shifty football financiers (list too long to reproduce here), which caused some consternation when he revealed to supporters in June that lawyers told him to lie about Kevin Heaney’s involvement. And BBC Radio Devon’s Gordon Sparks, a journalist popularly renowned for his staunch support of Argyle, has never shied away from asking the sort of questions of Guilfoyle that frustrated Pilgrims’ fans among his listeners have likely been shouting at the radio. He also seldom shies away from sharing their incredulity at the answers. Wednesday’s interview was headlined “Brendan Guilfoyle says takeover deal is close”, the latest in a series of interviews which included one on June 22nd headlined “Plymouth close to sale – Guilfoyle,” – a sadly all-too-accurate barometer of the progress the Pilgrims’ administrator has made over the last two months or...

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