Serendipity

Monday, October 31, 2011

Resurgam!



Resurgam indeed! No other word will do!

Yesterday these statements were issued:

http://www.pafc.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10364~2501457,00.html

... and:

http://www.pafc.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10364~2501457,00.html


So it is finally over. The rebuilding work starts here and given that we are currently bottom of the 92 English full-time professional clubs, started Saturday's game with five 17 year olds in the line-up and have a swathe of players either suspended or injured at present then that rebuilding process cannot be too radical or start too soon and today a radical start was made with the promotion of Carl Fletcher from temporary to permanent manager.




This entry is not going to be about the future though; it is here just to fill the gaps between the last entry and this one and to, hopefully, draw a line under a past as distasteful as any that could possibly be imagined.


In my last blog entry I related how the Heaney/Bishop International bid seemed to have stalled. Official confirmation of that never came, as far as I can recall, that Heaney's bid had failed but once Guilfoyle/P&A began discussions with James Brent's Akkeron group then it was obvious that it had. From that point Brent's bid was the only viable option for us.

A tortuous route lay ahead though. P&A hadn't actually progressed the Heaney/BIL bid very much at all despite regular protestations that all was going swimmingly. All sorts of agreements had to be made with the holders of the secured mortgages, staff, players, the FL and, of course, P&A itself.

Brent's team appeared to cut swathes through the various obstacles at a furious rate. In next to no time the secured creditors were on board, the PFA had been persuaded to advise its members that settling due wages over a 5 year period was acceptable and most of the club staff had agreed to similar terms. In the midst of all of that Brent had even managed to repel a desperate last-ditch attempt by members of the old board to queer the pitch by launching a rival bid that seemed more concerned with protecting their personal and historic liabilities than it was with benefitting the club, staff, players or supporters.

One very big obstacle remained: Brent's bid was contingent on Plymouth City Council agreeing to buy the freehold and to consent, in broad terms at least, to Brent's wider plans to develop the area around Home Park. It is obvious that in the current economic and political climate that the notion of PCC investing in (or "bailing out" as the common argot would have it) the city's financially and morally bankrupt football club was a tricky one to sell. It was very helpful, however, that the local paper, The Herald, came out in support of the idea despite an angry splurge of letters in the postbag and comments on their website. PCC duly debated and voted and, and this was beyond my wildest expectations, was solidly 100% behind the proposal to buy back Home Park... Maybe Viv Pengelley did read my email!


(http://babararacucudada.blogspot.com/2011/01/letter-to-viv-pengelley.html)

http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/Fans-celebrate-landmark-decision-buy-stadium/story-13597604-detail/story.html

And so the end game loomed. There was a late scare concerning the negotiations between Brent and ex-manager Peter Reid and ex-director Yasuaki Kagami's link to Plymouth, and Argyle's ex-chief operations officer (or some such) Tony Campbell. This was a mere hiccup and both deals were quickly done.

So that was it! Except it was not. Apparently a handful of ex-players/employees had remained uncontactable and so were yet to sign up. They were, eventually amidst some wild rumours, in the bag too.

So that was it! Except it was not.

At the very last it seemed as if a stalemate existed between P&A and Brent over the admin fees. These deserve a chapter of their own really but I don't understand that stuff well enough to do it justice! P&A had previously released a document detailing the club's accounts since the beginning of the administration process though and if the harsh financial realities of operating a football club are a mystery to you then some of the mystery could be lessened by looking at this link: http://www.pafc.pandareports.com/ and reading the report.

So P&A's fees had racked up to well over £1m. There was no way that Brent was ever going to settle at that level and P&A offered to accept 50%. This still appeared to be too high. Statements were more or less simultaneously issued by Brent and P&A on Oct 20th:

http://www.dca-pr.co.uk/Latest-News/Akkeron---Old-Way-Mansion/The-Plymouth-Argyle-Football-Club-Limited-in-123.aspx

...and


http://www.pafc.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10364~2488470,00.html

And then on 28th October agreement was reached:

http://www.pafc.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10364~2497216,00.html

Which brings me back to the statements at the beginning with Argyle officially exiting the admin process after 241 days of shame and worry.

So that is it. This time. It really is it. The guts may have been ripped out of Argyle by the events of the last 3 years or so but the heart and soul are back where they belong and we live to fight another day. Against a backdrop of venality, chaos, fear, bullying, misinformation, intimidation, lies and contempt a spirit has been engendered and the bond between players, staff and supporters has probably never been stronger. Indeed the bonds of respect and friendship stretch far beyond Plymouth and its immediate environs. It seems churlish to name any one group but the support given to us by Brighton's supporters at what was just about the very lowest point will quite simply, never, ever be forgotten by Argyle fans everywhere.


The cast of heroes and villains and innocent by-standers caught up in this affair is huge. Much of what has happened may be entirely legal but that doesn't stop it being morally reprehensible. There must be serious questions asked about the legal framework that has allowed this farce to run and run and it is time that light was shone into all of the farrago's various murkily-lit corners. If the FL/FA won't or can't do it then government should legislate. But that is all for another time...

Just to finish off I'd like to quote Peter Reid's most recent statement:

http://www.leaguemanagers.com/news/news-6886.html

... and add a picture.


Resurgam! (of course!)































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