Sunday, 30 January 2011


Disgraceful attendance, shit support... are the cries of those who saw

Plymouth Argyle 1 - 2 AFC Bournemouth.

It's a cry that's echoed though Plymouth for years, and when are those shouters going to learn they're wasting their breath? Plymothians, Devonians and the Cornish - for they are the club's catchment area - are fed up with Argyle and just don't give a toss any more. They're fed up of weekly being issued with rallying calls, fed up of if they turn up paying £20+ just to watch a loss, fed up of being castigated by 'proper fans' for being 'part timers', fed up of watching the best players being sold, fed up of the board mismanaging the club, fed up of the lack of ambition. They've seen it all before, history repeating and see there's no point in putting time, money and effort in to something that'll never give a good return. Plymouth is no hot bed of football, and it's always been like that. Nothing will change until the club make people sit up and take notice by actually living up to the promises for once.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Plymouth eye up Fallon sale

Plymouth Argyle are looking for potential buyers for striker Rory Fallon as they look to avoid financial ruin. The Pilgrims need to raise cash to avoid going under and had looked to have secured the sale of striker Bradley Wright-Phillips to Reading. However the move broke down after the former Southampton man failed a medical and he has yet to return to action.

Fallon returned to Argyle’s front line after a two month loan spell at Ipswich came to an end prematurely on Monday, and he returned to the side to play in the 3-1 victory over MK Dons. The New Zealand international also led the line on Saturday against Charlton.

Chairman Peter Ridsdale admitted the club have had no offers for Fallon as yet, but said he was pleased with his performance against MK Dons. He said: “I have had no expressions of interest in Rory since he came back, although it's early days.”

“I think his presence as a target man made a big difference against MK Dons, so it was good to have him back."

The club’s focus is now on a return to court on February 9th, where the club must prove their ability to pay a £760,000 debt to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and any deals for both Fallon and Wright-Phillips will go some way to paying the debt. Despite the financial problems surrounding the club, they currently sit in 15th and are 6 points above the relegation zone, although football betting patterns have seen the club emerge as favourites to join the relegation scrap.

Meanwhile Wright-Phillips has been cleared to return to action after seeing a specialist in London. The striker has suffered from chronic knee problems since he signed from Southampton in 2009 and has now agreed a new training schedule to aide his return.

Next up in the league are Bournemouth, who won the corresponding fixture 3-0 earlier this month. Football bets are likely to be placed in the favour of the second placed club.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Build you Up... Tear you down.

MK Dons 1 - 3 Plymouth Argyle
Charlton Athletic 2 - 0 Plymouth Argyle

A Brazilian performance midweek at the rearranged game at Franchise FC, followed by a loss at the weekend in spite of a bit of passion by the players - which was refreshing to see. Though the amount of inconsistency around Home Park, which face it is frankly not new, is a huge problem now for Reid. If the Greens are to stand any chance of survival in the League One, and especially if administration deducts 10 points in a few weeks, then picking up as many points as possible is the only goal.

The recent VAT increase, meaning and extra 50p on ticket prices, is hardly going to help get people through the gates to watch what, at many times, is at best a mediocre game. All players need to play for the sake of the shirt against the odds rather than individuals in the shop windows, which in this day and age of football is virtually unheard of where money is abundant elsewhere and players follow the cash. Trouble is, such is Argyle's luck, that when they put up a good fight, like the Charlton game, they still end up losing!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Argyle on the brink of financial meltdown

No, that isn't just a dramatic headline designed to turn heads, it is the exact words of the man tasked with digging Plymouth out of large financially induced hole.
Despite the midweek win over MK Dons giving fans hope of light at the end of the tunnel, Peter Reid will once again see his team dismantled as the Argyle board desperately try to balance the books.

Peter Ridsdale, hardly a man who inspires confidence when it comes to financial management, has been blunt in his appraisal of the club's current plight.

"The one thing that I don't think has got through to Argyle supporters is this club is on the brink of meltdown financially... Unless I can raise enough money to get through the season this club could go out of existence," he said.

Nearly £550,000 has been raised already this month with the sales for Craig Noone, defender Reda Johnson and striker George Donnelly and it must be galling for Peter Reid to contemplate further departures from an already paper-thin squad. Fans would no doubt keep an eye on the live score goalwire than the books, but the financial reality of things is starting to hit home.

Reid is unable to buy anyone either as a transfer embargo is still in place until a £265,000 tax bill is settled, despite the Pilgrims paying £1 million back to the HMRC already in recent weeks.

The one positive to come out of the current situation is the performance of the players in that magnificent win in Milton Keynes – a side with the best home record in League One. Sometimes a backs-to-the-wall mentality and spirit, no doubt encouraged by a battler like Reid, can yield positive results even in the most testing of circumstances. The latest football scores seem to be swining in the Pilgrims' favour, and perhaps this change in fortunes will be reflected off the pitch.

Argyle will need to sum up much more of that spirit in the coming weeks as their battles continue - both on and off the pitch.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Gary II

This time last year I wrote about a mate of mine:

I have a friend who used to be quite an ardent Argyle fan. But not any more. He hasn't set foot inside Home Park for years. On the occasions we have discussed this his reason has been twofold. Namely, that they don't come and see him when he is bad, and that the good players are always being sold off. So, New World, as you supposedly want to know why the Plymouth public don't give a crap, here's your answer. Now what are you going to do about it?

Argyle, having become even worse since then, have been a topic of many a conversation on a Monday or Wednesday. I have subsequently found out that 'ardent fan' included several social occasions with players and managers, and some 'you scratch my back I'll scratch yours' business dealings, home and away games for many years. Yet even more so now he doesn't give a fuck about his local team beyond looking out for the score and a discussion over a pint. The Exeter league and cup games being the only match he's seen at Home Park for over 5 years, that was a shock and a novelty! He even has a soft spot for Hull City, and they actually achieved the Promised Land - though they are the other end of the country (even so that didn;t stop him driving up some times), in fact 'Ull led him to getting in with the Argyle squad one evening, though that spot is hardening slightly! So what are local clubs, not just Argyle, going to do to attract people who are actually football followers? Certainly not what Argyle have done lately, namely lose 3 times in a row, prostitute their family silver yet again, and show no knowledge of football on the field what so ever, let alone off it.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Wright-Phillips stays with Argyle

League top scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips will stay with Plymouth Argyle after his move to Reading fell through. Wright-Phillips, who has scored 13 goals this season, saw the move fall through after failing a medical with the Berkshire club.

The former Southampton man will now stay at the club for the time being, but will not play this weekend after manager Peter Reid described the striker as “mentally not right” for the clash against Oldham. Wright-Phillips looks set be out of action for a further month following advice from a consultant but the move may still go ahead at a later date, meaning the latest football shirts news will be reporting about how Wright-Phillips may soon be in Reading colours.

“He's spoken to a consultant who has advised him that he should do a bit of rehab work for at least a month.” Reid added. Chronic knee problems have plagued Wright-Phillips since he moved to the club from Southampton in 2009 and he is often forced to miss training sessions because of the problem.

The latest developments in the move are a mixed blessing for the Pilgrims – the money generated from the transfer fee would have meant they club were able to pay their outstanding tax bill to HMRC and had the transfer embargo placed on the club lifted. Ex-Sunderland manager Reid would then have likely raided the loan market to boost his squad.

Reid’s side will have to cope without Wright-Phillips in their push to move into the play-off places. They currently lie four points off 6th place, but with eight teams ahead of them in a similar position the weekend fixture against Oldham, who are also looking for a play-off position, will be crucial.

Winger Yannick Bolasie and left-back Onismor Bhasera both face fitness tests ahead of the game after picking up knocks in the midweek defeat to Huddersfield.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Plymouth dodge another bullet

Plymouth Argyle's fortunes on the pitch may not be improving quickly, but football consultant to the board, Peter Ridsdale has at least helped the club dodge a bullet by ensuring that the first part of their outstanding tax bill has now been paid, and that the winding-up order against their parent company has been dropped. The club are still due back in court on February 9th with a tax bill of around half a million pounds still owed, but Ridsdale is confident that they will also meet that deadline in time to avoid any further repercussions.

“There are a number of issues in regard to the Inland Revenue. The first is the petition debt which was just over £500,000 and I'm delighted to say that we paid that off yesterday," he said.

"We do have further debt to the Inland Revenue which is roughly the same amount of money, and I'm hopeful that will be paid before the end of the month."

In the meantime, Plymouth will be unable to bring in any fresh faces during the January window as the outstanding balance to HMRC means that they are currently under a transfer embargo - but this doesn't mean that players can't leave to ease the financial burden. Already this month they have shipped out winger Craig Noone and defender Reda Johnson to League One promotion-chasers Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.

However, the news that their club will remain in business will have been a massive shot in the arm for the playing squad who, following their 3-2 loss to Huddersfield last time out, are lingering a deceptively comfortable seven points above the relegation zone. That result would have been especially disappointing given the fact that striker Joe Mason had put them 2-0 up inside the opening quarter of an hour. At that point, the football odds showed the game was theirs for the taking.

Unfortunately for Argyle, their typically sloppy defence combined with some ill-discipline let them down once again when both Curtis Nelson and Stephane Zubar were sent off, as well as manager Peter Reid, who was sent from the dug-out. Next up they face Oldham at home and really must get some manner of a result to stop the rot and propel them away from relegation. After all, the football predictions suggested they would be challenging for promotion this season.

There is still enough talent in this squad to be able to challenge for one of the play-off positions.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Good Old Argyle

AFC Bournemouth 3 - 0 Plymouth Argyle

Build your up then tear you down. Following the tremendous win verses Rovers, what do Argyle do but revert to form with a heavy defeat, that only for the efforts of Button, could have ended in a cricket score. Argyle were without Wright-Philips following his move to Reading, and save for a few individual good performances, they sore missed one of the league's highest scorers. Though they came close, but close ain't good enough. The Cherries probably wish they could play us every week. So, with more players probably set to go, what will the next match bring? A spirit-lifting against-the-odds win or a dire slit your wrist loss - who knows? That's Argyle!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Light at the End of the Tunnel?

A week has passed since Christmas, which saw Argyle enjoy a fantastic win against Rovers, when they came back from 2-0 down to win 2-3. This week sees the news that Argyle should be able to clear their debt with the HMRC following the fire sale of several players, including Noone, Johnson and now Wright-Philips. Although fire selling our best players is a great way of increasing income but is no way to secure any possibility of a future for the club in footballing terms. A ray of light for Argyle fans in terms of the survival of their beloved club, but yet more agonising as to how much longer all this is going to go on.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year

Plymouth Argyle 1 - 1 Notts County
Plymouth Argyle 0 - 0 Yeovil Town

2 draws
2 points
2 NWO members out
1 player out
1 ex-manager out
1 Ridsdale in

So over the Christmas, Argyle have managed just to draw both of their games (Bournemouth was postponed) in two very boring games. Someone must have slipped a bromide tablet into the half time tea on Tuesday for all the enthusiasm the Greens showed in the second half - go for the win? Nah. Today's game was more exciting, if only for loanee Button's superb goalkeeping efforts. Todd and Gardner have left their positions on the board, though Todd is sticking round the NWO in some capacity, instead Stapleton has been re-promoted and Ridsdale has finally boarded the sinking ship.

The comments from others in the football world about his appointment bare witness to how dire the situation is, if liking Ridsy to Josef Frizel as a social worker / Harold Shipman running a care home / Rosemary West in a nursery, is any ringing endorsement. I'm sure the Cardiff/Leeds fans would readily agree. Mariner has decided to leave the coop for Toronto, and who can blame him after the club's treatment for a former so called legend - given Sturrock's crap and then booted aside for Reid to disappear into oblivion. The first fire sell of Noone to Brighton (who won 5-0) this today is the first of what will be many, BWP to follow him out the door by the end of the week? Fallon to get a permanent stay at Ipswich? (Though many will welcome that one).

And in a few weekends time it's back to court again, and considering the staff still haven't been paid, there is nowhere the required amount of money will be raised in time, plus that for February. Unless Ridsdale's been flogging knocked off gear round the back of the Devonport already. 10 point administration deduction now will sink Argyle to the bottom the table, from which there will be no recovery. And a certain website has already been discussing the positives of League Two football (!?). So happy 2011, because in 15 short hours, it's proved that you've seen it all before and fuck all has changed.