Thursday, February 03, 2011

Conflicting Statements

Today looks like being pivotal re whether or not Argyle continues to exist. There has been a front page article in the Herald suggesting that everything could well be fine and then a statement on the official website that seems to contradict.

They both deserve a place on here.

'Japan cash with Argyle by Monday': Director in Tokyo puts deadline on money transfer
By Rob Goss And Edd Moore

A CASH injection aimed at rescuing stricken Plymouth Argyle will arrive "by Monday", Japan-based director George Synan has promised.

The Pilgrims are on the brink of financial ruin, with around £2million required to keep the club afloat until the summer.

Argyle chiefs have made it clear they expect Tokyo-based directors Yasuaki Kagami and Mr Synan to stump up the cash.

It is understood the pair had agreed to send the money to Home Park in four installments – the first of which is more than a month late.

But in an exclusive interview with The Herald, Mr Synan insisted Argyle would get their survival cash – perhaps as early as tomorrow.

The American businessman said he was preparing to travel to Plymouth "confident" the Greens would survive the cash crisis that threatens their 125-year history.

Mr Synan represents K&K Shonan Management Corporation, a company owning a majority 38 per cent stake in Argyle that was set up by Mr Kagami and two fellow Japanese businessmen.

He had not spoken openly about the club's financial turmoil since saying he was "not personally worried" in December.

But Mr Synan has broken his silence after The Herald pursued him with phone calls, e-mails and visits to Mr Kagami's Tokyo headquarters.

Mr Synan would not specify exactly how much money was being sent to Home Park, but described it as a "sufficient" amount.

He said it would arrive either tomorrow or Monday.

Mr Synan said: "It [the money] doesn't need to be there until Monday anyway.

"We are targeting next Monday to actually be on the ground [in Plymouth].

"I want to be there in person to make sure everything is coordinated on that side."

Asked about the Pilgrims' chances of survival, Mr Synan said: "We are all confident we will avoid liquidation".

He promised fans there were no plans to put the club into administration, a process that would lead to a ten-point deduction and almost certain relegation to League Two.

"We are doing everything we can to avert that. That's not something we have on our agenda right now."

More than 5,000 people have signed a petition pleading with Mr Synan and Mr Kagami to send the money.

The pair were both due to take part in a conference call with Argyle's football consultant Peter Ridsdale this morning.

The former Leeds United and Cardiff City chairman, who is handling the day-to-day running of the League One outfit, has vowed to walk away from the club on Tuesday unless the money arrives by then.

He has warned that without a multi-million-pound cash injection, Argyle face just a 30 per cent chance of survival.

Spiralling player wages, falling attendances and relegation to English football's third tier have left the Pilgrims with a chronic cashflow problem and debts of around £10million.

The club will go before a High Court judge on Wednesday to face the latest in a series of winding-up petitions from the tax-man.

That action is set to be dismissed, after a fire-sale of players helped Argyle settle all its outstanding tax debts.

The final £271,000 was paid to Her Majesty's Revenue and Custom's yesterday, meaning the Pilgrims are a step closer to shaking off a transfer embargo imposed by the Football League.

The Herald understands the cash injection from Japan could be a six-figure sum in the region of £750,000.

That would help Argyle get up-to-date with player wages, therefore lifting the transfer embargo. It would also temporarily prop up the club, allowing it to pay future tax bills and stave off creditors.

Although the tax-man will ask for the winding-up petition to be dismissed during Wednesday's court hearing, other creditors have the opportunity to join in the action.

Article here.

Not long afterwards the club makes this statement on the official website:

THE Plymouth Argyle Board of Directors today released the following statement:

"An article in today's newspaper, The Herald, in Plymouth, may lead to the impression that funds are about to be received from our Japanese shareholders that 'are sufficient', implying that the problems created by the identified cash shortfall that currently exists at Plymouth Argyle Football Club will be resolved.

"At the time of writing, no new cash has been received from Japan, nor have we had any confirmation that there is likely to be any imminent investment from the Far East which would be of a level previously indicated to us or indeed to the Court.

"We are disappointed that any statement may have been made in the public domain that could either intentionally or otherwise been misleading to our creditors or supporters which regard to the real challenge that still faces this club, if we are to secure the funding level that we require.

"Everyone at the club is working tirelessly to ensure that a solution can be found but as yet, the task is far from complete."

Club statement here.

On February 9th of next week Argyle faces a deferred High Court hearing. At that hearing they have to show that they have cleared the "petition debt" (and they have by selling the best of our current crop of players) and that they are not trading whilst insolvent and have sufficient cash to continue trading. If they do not then the club will be liquidated and cease to exist.

If that cash from Japan does not arrive then Wednesday of next week, so it seems, there will no longer be a Plymouth Argyle Football Club of any sort any more.