Sunday, 27 March 2011

All Quiet on the Western Front

Anyone have any idea what's happening? Peter Reid was interviewed in today's People newspaper; he states that he has a squad of 13 - 3 of whom are goalkeepers - there's no money to fine players for being late etc, and no one has been paid since December (even still the FA are levying their fines). Meanwhile the news from Home Park and Guilfoyle is deafening by its absence. The preferred bidder has still not been announced with any press conferences being confined to cut backs and redundancies; there's some sort of problem with the bidders not being as confident in themselves or the club to take over immediately or to pay the staff before the end of the season. So what have the un-magnificent 7 actually done to a club once lamented as being well run? To reduce it to one run on pride and fans' charity, and to make it so impossible for someone to take over easily? Guilfoyle still maintains that it is possible for the club to be liquidated, which is no comfort for anyone especially when you have no idea what's going on and if any effort is actually worth it.

Chris Dawson

How revealing that CDS supremo Chris Dawson has invested in Yeovil Town, when, at the height of the problems with Argyle when asked he stated he was not a football person, and would never consider investing in Argyle. So why the sudden change of heart, and what is so wrong with the Greens that he would set his sights on the greens 72 miles away and not those on his doorstep?

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Perry & Croft

The happenings at Argyle are akin to a Perry and Croft ilk of sitcom.

Home Park is turning into such a French farce ('Allo 'Allo); none of the bidders are willing to pay the staff until the end of the season, forcing them to accept contacts deferring pay or get lost (and not get JSA due to making themselves unemployed!). This thus raises the question of why anyone is bidding - is it just to acquire an asset at a cut down price and sod the football/staff/supporters, or are they not financially affluent as they should be to support a football club - and thus just resuming the cycle that has dogged Argyle for years/decades/centuries? Others demand that PCC take pack Home Park, but with most of the city not giving two hoots about PAFC, and after their expenditure on an Olympic sized swimming pool (Hi-di-Hi), that ain't ever gonna happen. Even so, all the bidders are property-centric allegedly, so HP will be the biggest asset, so never mind the football club. Will the new lot cut off the branches that keep PAFC Ltd alive (Oh! Dr Beeching) too?

But 'Don't Panic Mr Mainwaring!' (Dad's Army) says Guilfoyle, although the HMRO are pushing for a football club to be liquidated and wound up, Brendan is adamant that won't happen to Argyle.

Meanwhile the Trust is sitting round trying to do something but isn't sure what - their demands are for the new owners of the club to co-operate with them, but they are still very new with little funds and no way to represent their members outside of Plymouth in decision making save for a closed message board that has banned a portion of the members. Yet the heart is in the right place, but will it be just a case sucking up to their betters - the directors (You Rang M'Lord?), rather than a proper representation of the fans?

What'll happen next? Monday is the next milestone, with the club's creditors due to start to respond to deals. 'Glass of water for Mr Grainger' (Are you Being Served?).

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Something goes in Argyle's Favour!

Carlisle 1 - 1 Plymouth Argyle

In spite of the draw, Argyle are not bottom of the league. In fact they're 3rd from bottom, above Bristol Rovers and Swindon. All three clubs are on 33 points, but Rovers have a worse goal difference and Swindon comes after Plymouth! Argyle are still chasing Walsall and Dagenham by 3 points, and Yeovil by 5 points to guarantee not dropping another league.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Guil-foyle's War

Administrator Brendan Guilfoyle has started the process of slimming the club down and recovering money to pay creditors. His first move has to close down Centre Spot and make 15 staff redundant. I hope the board are ashamed of what they've done to those who gave their all to the club and now have no hope of getting any money they have been owed in recent months, but I fear that with the rumours and quotes going around, they have the cheek to actually want to be involved in the take over bids! Unbelievable, but no so when you consider how money grabbingly greedy they have all been. Let's hope that none of the vultures get their mitts on Argyle, neither do they get any of the return from Guilfoyle they've hoping for.

St Peter

Reid that is. Could this man have secured legendary status at PAFC? Even more so than Sturrock, who has since tarnished his reputation with is second tenure. Although Reid has not set the Pilgrims alight and got them back to Championship football, he has worked with a poorly constructed team after all. However, he has not been paid, and yet his has paid for the staff to keep warm at Home Park, he is donating his medal to raise money for the club, and now has finally got on the way to getting the results on the pitch with three wins on the row. Reid has to have come out of this sorry mess with some sort of recognition for his efforts.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Three in a Row

Plymouth Argyle 1 - Swindon Town

The third successive win in a row lists Argyle off the bottom of the table - something to be happy about! If such results carry on, there is a hope of survival in League One rather than a doomed relegation down to the fourth tier. It's a juxtaposition that when Argyle playedd the good football they lost, but are grinding out results with poorer performances. But at the end of the day, it's the final score that counts.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Another Suitcase in Another Hall

Many times in the history of Argyle comes the question 'so what happens now?'. Managers leave, boards leave, players leave. But nothing as big as administration has (in living memory) happened before. So what happens now?

Obviously, Argyle still play - fighting for survival in League One, rather than survival full stop. Which is all that can happen, as, until the administrator has done his stuff, nothing can happen. Once creditors have been paid off as far as possible, a new board needs to be sought. What does this mean day to day for fans?

What happens to the free buses on home days (currently paid for by supporters association)? What happens to coaches to away days (currently paid for by supporters again)?
What happens to the football special tickets on Great Western? Presumable FGW are not being reimbursed the difference, so why should they still offer the deal.
What happens on home match days? The ticket prices will be what? What'll happen to the staff and stewarding, and police and ambulance cover, and catering? They're not being paid, why should they provide the service?
What happens to Centre Spot in the mall, and the merchandising?
What happens to the sponsorship deals? Presumably no one will touch Argyle with a barge pole any more.

Who knows until it happens.
Let's all just go to Buenos Aires for the streets are paved with gold.

A Fighting Corpse?

Sheffield Wednesday 2 - 4 Plymouth Argyle

The players haven't been paid, and don't look like they're going to, the club existing in terms of lists of creditors at the moment, relegation following a deduction of 10 points was most certain, and yet the Greens pull off two incredible wins to bring a brighter ray of hope that all is not totally lost. A quirk of football with the results going in the right direction will see Argyle survive the drop to League Two oblivion, and confirm a slightly better foundation for whomever takes over.

Friday, 4 March 2011

End of the Beginning

"This may not be the end, this may not be the beginning of the end but it may perhaps be the end of the beginning" Winston Churchill

Argyle finally, though quicker than expected, went into administration today. Not that it wasn't unexpected, but it finally means that the greedy directors who led the club into the mire have finally gone, hopefully never to darken the doors of Home Park again. There are apparently 3 parties interested in PAFC, who wouldn't touch it whilst the current directors still had their mitts on the place, which should now hopefully come forward with a more coherent, football-fan orientated business plan. The thought that the (now ex-)directors really believed they can have some involvement in nu-Argyle is laughable, but now even they should get their comeuppance in the loss of any hoped for returns. However, the other creditors - namely local business, staff, the Youth Trust etc - will be the biggest losers. What hope is there now of investment from the local area if and when nu-Argyle is launched? At least Argyle still exist, just. And the bunch of wasters should be long banished from the Theatre of Greens.