Serendipity

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Stapleton's Statement

Paul Stapleton today made the most astonishing statement that I have ever read from anybody at Argyle. It was released in 6 parts. Here they are, C&pd for posterity because there is rumour of legal action and they might get withdrawn from the official site.

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT, PART ONE

Posted on: Wed 06 Feb 2008

ARGYLE chairman Paul Stapleton has spoken publicly for the first time about the January transfer-window, in which several top-line players left the Pilgrims.

Paul revealed that previous manager Ian Holloway had asked the Home Park board of directors not to renegotiate the contract of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who subsequently exploited a clause in his Argyle deal to sign for Wolves, because Holloway regarded his attitude as 'questionable'.

The chairman also divulged that midfielder David Norris, who joined Ipswich Town last week, had been promised a move by Holloway without the agreement of the Home Park board of directors.

In a further disclosure, Paul also told how the board had wanted to keep Hungarian international Ákos Buzsáky, but had been persuaded by Holloway to let the midfielder join Queens Park Rangers.

Finally, he spoke about the transfers of teenager Dan Gosling, to Everton, and striker Barry Hayles, to Leicester.

SYLVAN EBANKS-BLAKE

Paul said: "It has been well documented that the only way we could get Sylvan to sign for us from Manchester United was to agree to a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave if a club offered us £1.5m for him, which eventually happened.

"We knew that agreeing to that clause was the only way we could get Sylvan, and Ian Holloway begged us to get him.

"What a lot of people do not know until now was that we tried to talk to his agent about a new contract which would have seen that clause removed for due financial consideration.

"But, when the matter came up at a board meeting, Ian told us not to do it.

"I'd spoken to Peter Ridsdale at Cardiff about how they had renegotiated Michael Chopra's deal in similar circumstances. We mentioned it to the manager at one board meeting, and he was all up for it.

"At the next board meeting, the day before our chief executive Michael Dunford already had a meeting lined up with Sylvan's agent, the manager said there was no way we should offer Sylvan a new contract.

"Ian said he was not happy with Sylvan's level of fitness and sometimes questionable attitude, and said that, if we received an offer of £1.5m for him, we should accept it.

"We asked him whether he was sure and he said that he was, so we told Michael Dunford not to take the matter any further. You have to back your manager.

"Exactly two weeks later, Ian left.

"Another thing that many people did not know was that the clause was only triggered in January 1, 2008 - on January 3, Wolves came in. A lot of clubs seemed to know about the clause.

"I'll give Sylvan credit because he knew about Wolves' interest on January 4, and, on January 5, he played for us against Hull in the FA Cup and helped get us through."

Sylvan



CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT, PART TWO

Posted on: Wed 06 Feb 2008

ARGYLE chairman Paul Stapleton has spoken publicly for the first time about the January transfer-window, in which several top-line players left the Pilgrims.

Paul revealed that previous manager Ian Holloway had asked the Home Park board of directors not to renegotiate the contract of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who subsequently exploited a clause in his Argyle deal to sign for Wolves, because Holloway regarded his attitude as 'questionable'.

The chairman also divulged that midfielder David Norris, who joined Ipswich Town last week, had been promised a move by Holloway without the agreement of the Home Park board of directors.

In a further disclosure, Paul also told how the board had wanted to keep Hungarian international Ákos Buzsáky, but had been persuaded by Holloway to let the midfielder join Queens Park Rangers.

Finally, he spoke about the transfers of teenager Dan Gosling, to Everton, and striker Barry Hayles, to Leicester.

DAVID NORRIS

Paul said: "David Norris gave Plymouth Argyle very good service; he was energetic, a very good player, a talisman.

"The problem began because, last summer, he was told by Ian Holloway that he could leave the club in January.

"David got a bit confused, I think, and believed that the board had agreed he could leave in January.

"I spoke to David for two hours the evening before our game at Stoke in September, to try to get him back on board for us. I had to tell him that I'd never promised anything about a move but I promised him we'd review his situation in January.

"January 2 came, and he came to see me, saying he wanted to go. He saw me many more times in January, each time saying he wanted to go.

"At one point, he said he would stay if we gave him £10,000 a week for the rest of the season and let him go in the summer for £500,000.

"I told him there was no way we could sanction that - not necessarily the weekly wages, but we could not let him go to any club that offered us £500,000.

"He badgered us to death, all the time saying that he had been promised that he could go, a promise made last summer by Ian Holloway.

"It took until January 31 for him to go because, all the way along the line, we told him we didn't want to lose him. I had six meetings with him in January and every time I said we were not letting him go. I saw Norris more times in January than I saw my family.

"Two days before the transfer deadline, he told me he was never going to play for Argyle again. That phone call seemed conclusive in my mind.

"We had a player who categorically stated he wanted to go, that he didn't want to be at Argyle any more, wanted to safeguard his future, wanted to be near his family, and was adamant he'd been promised a move.

"I believe it was all down to this promise. Ian not only told him that he would get his move at Christmas, but that he would get his wages increased in September.

"Ian came to the board and told us that, and we said we couldn't see the point of increasing his wages in September and then letting him leave in January. Where was the point of that?

"We wanted to look at his contract in January, to give him another year and more money. Ian got upset at that because he had already promised the player something different, something that he had not come to the board about.

"Paul Sturrock said we should only let David Norris go if we received money that represented good value, and even on January 30, when I spoke to Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks, we weren't of a mind that we would definitely do the deal.

"It was only when Ipswich came up with a significant amount of money, and the friendship of the Bolton chairman and Ipswich chairman, who negotiated over a sell-on clause included in David's move to us from Bolton, that the transfer went through."




David-Norris-H



CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT, PART THREE

Posted on: Wed 06 Feb 2008

ARGYLE chairman Paul Stapleton has spoken publicly for the first time about the January transfer-window, in which several top-line players left the Pilgrims.

Paul revealed that previous manager Ian Holloway had asked the Home Park board of directors not to renegotiate the contract of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who subsequently exploited a clause in his Argyle deal to sign for Wolves, because Holloway regarded his attitude as 'questionable'.

The chairman also divulged that midfielder David Norris, who joined Ipswich Town last week, had been promised a move by Holloway without the agreement of the Home Park board of directors.

In a further disclosure, Paul also told how the board had wanted to keep Hungarian international Ákos Buzsáky, but had been persuaded by Holloway to let the midfielder join Queens Park Rangers.

Finally, he spoke about the transfers of teenager Dan Gosling, to Everton, and striker Barry Hayles, to Leicester.

ÁKOS BUZSÁKY

Paul said: "Akos went a few weeks before Ian Holloway left, way before Paul Sturrock came here.

"On the day of our match at Charlton in October, I had spoken with Ian and we had agreed to sign [Jermaine] Easter on loan with a view to a permanent deal. That was fine.

"The next day, we were talking about Buzsáky with Ian and agreed his wages for a new contract.

"Then Ákos's agent wanted a chunk of money, which caused a bit of a fuss. We were quite against paying that extra money because we felt it wasn't appropriate for a player who was already with us.

"Ian then said he was not fussed if Ákos went. He said he was not universally liked in the dressing-room.

"I told Ian that he didn't have to sell Ákos. We weren't looking for the money from a transfer fee. We already had the money for Easter lined up. It wasn't a problem.

"It was sad that Ákos left two weeks before Ian went himself. I don't think Ákos particularly wanted to leave.

"I personally liked Ákos. He was a likeable character, although he maybe didn't always perform consistently.

"We would have kept him, but you have got to back your manager."


Akos-Buzsaky-H

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT, PART FOUR

Posted on: Wed 06 Feb 2008

ARGYLE chairman Paul Stapleton has spoken publicly for the first time about the January transfer-window, in which several top-line players left the Pilgrims.

Paul revealed that previous manager Ian Holloway had asked the Home Park board of directors not to renegotiate the contract of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who subsequently exploited a clause in his Argyle deal to sign for Wolves, because Holloway regarded his attitude as 'questionable'.

The chairman also divulged that midfielder David Norris, who joined Ipswich Town last week, had been promised a move by Holloway without the agreement of the Home Park board of directors.

In a further disclosure, Paul also told how the board had wanted to keep Hungarian international Ákos Buzsáky, but had been persuaded by Holloway to let the midfielder join Queens Park Rangers.

Finally, he spoke about the transfers of teenager Dan Gosling, to Everton, and striker Barry Hayles, to Leicester.

DAN GOSLING

Paul said: "The seeds of the deal with Everton for Dan Gosling had already been sown by Ian Holloway long before Paul Sturrock arrived.

"We knew that Everton would come in at some time for Goz and that we couldn't stand in his way when they did.

"It was a question of when and how much, but we always knew that was on the cards. It had been virtually sealed before Ian had gone.

"When Paul Sturrock came in, he merely finished the deal off with Everton manager David Moyes, but, really, the deal had already been done.

"A youngster who had played 16 games for us has gone on to hopefully better his career. He did well for us, played for England, and we wish him well."




Dan-Gosling-H



CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT, PART FIVE

Posted on: Wed 06 Feb 2008

ARGYLE chairman Paul Stapleton has spoken publicly for the first time about the January transfer-window, in which several top-line players left the Pilgrims.

Paul revealed that previous manager Ian Holloway had asked the Home Park board of directors not to renegotiate the contract of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who subsequently exploited a clause in his Argyle deal to sign for Wolves, because Holloway regarded his attitude as 'questionable'.

The chairman also divulged that midfielder David Norris, who joined Ipswich Town last week, had been promised a move by Holloway without the agreement of the Home Park board of directors.

In a further disclosure, Paul also told how the board had wanted to keep Hungarian international Ákos Buzsáky, but had been persuaded by Holloway to let the midfielder join Queens Park Rangers.

Finally, he spoke about the transfers of teenager Dan Gosling, to Everton, and striker Barry Hayles, to Leicester.

BARRY HAYLES

Paul said: "We believed that Barry Hayles was going to leave us at the end of his contract in the summer and probably join Leicester next season.

"I had already received an offer from Leicester for Barry at 4.50pm on the deadline-day for loan transfers, which was November 22, the same day that Ian left us, but a few hours before he was appointed Leicester manager.

"I had to turn the offer down. After all, I did not have a manager to discuss the offer with!

"Barry had said had said that he wanted to be closer to his family in London, so he was going to go, sooner, rather than later.

"Paul Sturrock did not want a player who appeared to be going to another club. He didn't believe he could get the best out of him.

"Barry did very well for us, and we respect his decision to go, but what could Paul Sturrock do? What could we do?

"In the end, we got more than we paid for him, so it was a good deal."




Barry-Hayles-H



CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT, PART SIX

Posted on: Wed 06 Feb 2008

ARGYLE chairman Paul Stapleton has spoken publicly for the first time about the January transfer-window, in which several top-line players left the Pilgrims.

Paul revealed that previous manager Ian Holloway had asked the Home Park board of directors not to renegotiate the contract of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who subsequently exploited a clause in his Argyle deal to sign for Wolves, because Holloway regarded his attitude as 'questionable'.

The chairman also divulged that midfielder David Norris, who joined Ipswich Town last week, had been promised a move by Holloway without the agreement of the Home Park board of directors.

In a further disclosure, Paul also told how the board had wanted to keep Hungarian international Ákos Buzsáky, but had been persuaded by Holloway to let the midfielder join Queens Park Rangers.

Finally, he spoke about the transfers of teenager Dan Gosling, to Everton, and striker Barry Hayles, to Leicester.

CONCLUSION

Paul said: "All these things happened during Ian's tenure.

"But we didn't want Ian to go. We wanted him to see things through with us.

"I know some people will think that the timing of this is not the best, seeing as we play Leicester at the weekend, but these things have been on my mind for some time now.

"I've got to say what I think, and I've got to let the fans know something of what's been going on. These are the facts."



Paul Stapleton


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