Plymouth Argyle are facing a real battle to not just stay in League One, but also to stay in existence. Following a run of five consecutive league losses, the news today that the club is due to be docked ten points by the FA after admitting that it has started to take steps towards appointing an administrator will have come as a real blow to their chances of staving off relegation this season. After that point deduction, Argyle will find themselves five points behind Dagenham & Redbridge who currently occupy the bottom spot in the table, and manager Peter Reid admits that from there, it will take "championship-winning form" to beat the drop.
The good news, if there is any at present, is that the club still has time to do something about their fate – although it would require something around ten of their remaining fifteen remaining fixtures to stand any chance of collating the points that they will need to continue playing League One football next season – and although this is unlikely, they aren't mathematically relegated just yet. Anyone looking to bet on football wouldn't back them to escape though.
This feat will be made all the more difficult by the fact that the players and staff are yet to be paid for their efforts in January. It's easy to ask that all the playing squad simply look after matters on the pitch, and let the moneymen take care of what happens off it, but if they are failing to be paid for the work they have put in to date, there is precious little motivation other than playing well in a bid to be snapped up by another professional side. Meanwhile, the Notts Forest betting suggests the former League One side are set to head off to Premier League glory.
Former boss, Ian Holloway has spoken of his sympathies for Peter Reid and his squad's plight this season, but such sentiments will do little to assuage the rage felt by the Plymouth fans – in 2007 Holloway tipped them for promotion to the Premiership before leaving to join Leicester. But at least with the administration process starting, there is no chance of the Pilgrims being wound-up this season – and next year, albeit from League Two, they can once more begin their assault on the summit of English football.