Plymouth Argyle's future is secured

Plymouth Argyle FCThe takeover of Plymouth Argyle FC has been completed after a tortuous eight months in which the club teetered on the brink of extinction. Businessman James Brent, whose bid was backed by the club's supporters, said: "There's a huge amount to be done to rebuild the club and its finances." He also promised not to "part with control of the club until it's properly stabilised." The club has been in administration since March and is bottom of the league.
The chances of the deal being pulled off remained on the edge right up until the last. The final wrangles concerned the fees due to administrators P&A Partnership – an amount cuttingly referred to on fans site twohundredpercent as "the most money, to those who need it least".

During the long period of administration, club staff and players went unpaid. Promises were made and then not kept about deferred payments, causing considerable bad feeling, and a number of 'final' deadlines came and went almost as regularly as goals hit the back of Argyle's net.

English football

So much in this story illustrates what is wrong with the way football is run and regulated in England. Once again it's shown how figures can put themselves forward as potential club saviours, garnering all the publicity that goes with it, without first proving they have the funds to back their claims.

In this case, Cornish property developer Brendan Heaney was allowed by the administrators to be the 'exclusive bidder' without being required to fund the administration. There are serious questions to be asked to about the decisions taken during the crisis by P&A and lead administrator Brendan Guilfoyle.

Plymouth City Council

The final deal comes after Brent secured 100% agreement from 300 individuals who were owed money for those arrears to be paid over five years. The deal also sees Plymouth City Council buy the team's Home Park stadium for £1.6m from Brent, who will use that money to fund the club.

While a few fans have questioned Brent's unwillingness to pump money into the club, many more see this as evidence of a business nous that is much-needed at a club which has been in financial crisis since 2009. Argyle Fans Trust chairman Chris Webb said the deal was "the most important day in the club's history".
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