In 15 hours, the Football League could be one member short. Plymouth Argyle, the Football Leagues most southern club is threatened with liquidation and if payments are not made tomorrow by 5pm, the club could cease to exist.
Now ordinarily, many football fans would not care for Plymouth Argyle or take an interest in their affairs but in light of recent events people need to take notice. A club has been run into the ground due to an ignorant board of directors who ran a club on hope. They chose to dream and ignored reality. A whole club was being operated and hinged on the hope that England would be awarded the 2018 World Cup. It was careless, it was idiotic and it was reckless, but worst of all it was the first domino to topple. Since the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia, Plymouth Argyle’s troubles have worsened. The players and staff have not been paid in full since last December and the club entered administration in March. Consequently the club was given a 10 point deduction and were relegated from League One. Ex-Leeds and Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale stepped into help the club and he is currently the Chairman of Plymouth Argyle following the purchase of the club for £1. The clubs survival now hinges on one payment. A consortium called Bishop International Limited are working with Truro City Chairman Kevin Heaney in order to complete a deal for the club. However deadlines have come and gone and Argyle are no closer to a light and the end of the tunnel.
Brendan Guilfoyle, the administrator working with Argyle has re-assured fans today that the deadline of 5pm tomorrow will be met and Bishop International Ltd will make the payment of £6million that the club so desperately needs. But after constant missed deadlines and twisted words, all Argyle fans remain sceptical. This whole situation could have been avoided if Guilfoyle had given James Brent, a local businessman the chance to purchase the club. Brent has been working with the Argyle Fans Trust to form a contingency plan should the current deal not go through. However with constant delays, time has run out for any form of back-up plan to be followed through, much to the displeasure of Argyle fans.
The mess at Argyle has been hard to follow over the past 10 months but now it can’t be any more simple. £6million by 5pm tomorrow or game over for Plymouth Argyle.
Plymouth Argyle is my beloved club. I’ve been at Home Park at 3am on a Saturday morning to board a cramped, smelly coach to travel to Newcastle. I travelled to Peterborough at the end of last season only to see us lose 2-1, in the hope we could survive relegation against all the odds. I was part of an away crowd off 9000+ that filled The Emirates away end when we lost 3-1 to Arsenal nearly three years ago and most recently I was one of the 1207 Argyle fans that filled the Greenhous Meadow away end at Shrewsbury as against all the odds, Plymouth Argyle managed to field a team on the opening day of the League Two season. We came away with a much deserved point after a 91st minute equaliser from Carl Fletcher. The goal was greeted by scenes of jubilation and ecstasy. It came with so much relief and provided so much hope. Yet 3 weeks later here I am, praying we survive.
I’ve experienced so many high’s and low’s in my years supporting Plymouth Argyle. Two promotions, two relegations, some fantastic away days and many Home Park memories. It’s sad to think that their wont be any more. That one day, when I have children, I won’t be able to take them to support Plymouth Argyle, just like my Dad for me. A city of 250,000 people is set to lose it’s Football Club, the biggest in the south-west by a distance. I can’t imagine a world without Plymouth Argyle, a club that I have spent so much money and time supporting. A club that brings together me and thousands of other people and friends with which I have experienced so much.
Tomorrow is our D-Day, so wherever you may be, whoever you support and whatever colours you wear, sit up and take notice. Open your eyes and realise that football is being destroyed by money. Plymouth may be a small club in terms of world football but tomorrow if the worst should happen, eyes will be opened. People will realise. This is what our beloved game has come to. Clubs being run out of business, people being owed money. Greed and selflessness overpowering pride and passion. Don’t let the money men win, football is for the fans. So whether it be Plymouth Argyle or whether it be your club, stand up and make yourself heard. Your club is nothing without it’s fans.
Argyle till I die.