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.

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