jimsing wrote: A lot has been said on these boards regarding our former Chairman, and I do believe that he was an excellent Chairman when he was in charge.
However, you must remember that he was forced to give up the Chair to Sir Roy when he and his group of directors became the minority shareholders on the board.
Sir Roy became a titular head, with Todd making all the decisions regarding the Club, with the backing of the Japanese (and Synan) who were directors from afar. Having a majority on the board gives you absolute power, providing you can continue to persuade a majority to your way of thinking. I'm not sure that there was much disagreement other than from the minority directors. Rubber stamping could have been the order of the day.
It has to be said that we DID spend a lot of money on players, in an effort to avoid relegation from the Championship. Not on transfers, maybe, but on players wages, which is why we have had so many players on our books. We were not in a position to wage a bidding war with the likes of Blackpool, for example, over someone like Charlie Adam, but had there not been any other interest in him, we MAY have negotiated a deal, and MAY NOT be in the position we are in now.
However, that is history, and there is no point going over the details. Suffice to say that we DID spend more than we had, a great deal more than we had.
I assumed, incorrectly, that the directors were putting their hands into their pockets, in order to fund this increase in playing staff. After all, if we had succeeded in avoiding relegation the year that we went down, then we would have had £3m tv money, and the hit may not have been so bad.
But I never thought that we would go into debt to such an extent that we did. I naively thought that our directors provided the funds, or perhaps that they borrowed but acted as guarantors. Money that would be paid back when the playing problems were resolved. Never in a million years did I expect our Club to go down the administration route. Didn't occur to me. Didn't give it a thought.
Wow, was I ever wrong.
Perhaps the Japanese contingent DID renege on their promise to put money into the Club. Perhaps the other directors DID provide matched funding, and were awaiting the Japanese money before putting any more money in.
Sounds possible. We may never know.
Had England got the World Cup, there is no doubt in my mind that Plymouth Argyle would have been a Venue, we would have had a new grandstand and the other developments would have gone ahead, providing that we had remained in the Championship.
What could Stapes do? He was in a minority. He could put his two penneth in. He could persuade his fellow directors to agree with him, but he could never win unless he could persuade one of Todd's directors to vote against him. Do turkeys vote for Christmas?
Okay so he could have resigned over a matter of principle.
He would have still been a shareholder, but with no voice on the board. He could have sold his shares. Who was going to buy them? His colleagues could have, but they would still have been in the minority, and what would they have gained? Nothing. Sell to the Japanese, or to Todd/Sir Roy. Did they need them, did they want them. No. They were happy as they were.
Remember that this is just the first installment of what happened (or Stapes version of events, anyway) and is time related, so we will gradually get up to date with more recent events as we go on.
Interesting reading - YES. Biased - PROBABLY, but at least he is giving us something to think about.
Will it be the equivalent of a resulting investigation as to what happened, what went wrong, what could have been done to prevent the eventual outcome - NO, never in a million years, he doesn't have all the information, but he knows more than you or me.
Accept it for what it is, one version of events from one director of the board, who had complete control of the Club (successfully, in my opinion), in his former years, but who lost his power when he invited outsiders in and became a minority shareholder, and saw his, and our, beloved Club drop to the depths of despair within two years.
He will say that he thought he was doing what all the fanbase wanted, by bringing in moneyed men who could take the Club to the next level, and he would be right, that was what we were all craving for, but the Club lost the Chairman who had his finger on the pulse, had an excellent overall knowledge of the Club and how it worked. We also lost Dunford, not required by the new order. Perhaps we should have had alarm bells ringing when this happened. Stapes was replaced by someone who was not football experienced, had all the power that he needed to do what he wanted, had his eye on development, kept a lot of information to himself and his "side", and the Club went down as a consequence, I'm afraid.
The rest is history. It will be interesting to see how Stapes views things from inside the boardroom, but there was NOTHING he could have done to avoid the current outcome. The power was with Keith Todd, and eventually boardroom squabbles from within his group of insiders brought the Club to its knees.
Sad day indeed, and we must all be thankful that we have survived the worst period of our history, so far.
However, make no bones about it, we will be bought by developers, who will only support the Club for their own business reasons. They do not appear to be PAFC supporters, they are only interested in development.
Do not expect anything from them in future years. The Club will have to survive on its own gate receipts.
Don't expect a dalliance with the Premiership unless we can get the gates to warrant it. We will revert to our normal "bottom of the second/top of the third division" which is where we belong.
Cheer up, that means we will have a promotion back up to the third sometime in the future, but don't bank on it being in the next year or two!
In what way was Stapleton forced to bring Gardner,Todd,Kagami et al to the club in the first place? Gill stated in his resignation letter that other avenues of investment were not sought-"other plans were in place"-remember that? It was the old boards decision to bring the various factions into the picture and it was a disaster waiting to happen right from the start with so many diverse interests involved,with a convoluted decision making process inevitably leading to power struggles and blurred chains of command.It was also the decision of the old board to purchase the freehold and take the road of property development [which didn't materialise anyway] as evidenced by the resignations from that board of messrs Jones,Foot and Warren.
Interesting comparison with Blackpool,too.It strikes me as rather odd that you say we weren't in a position to wage a bidding war with them for Adam,then later you say "don't expect a dalliance with the premiership unless gates warrant it".Blackpool had more than a dalliance with the premiership on gates of 8000,so your conclusions don't entirely seem to be logical to me.Personally,i can't say that i'm "thankful" that Argyle have survived this period,more bloody angry that it ever happened in the first place.And i'm far from convinced that the whole scenario at the moment is any more than a Ridsdale concocted stitch up, or that the club has been professionally and openly marketed.Different people,different horizons,i suppose.
My comment regarding bringing the new world into the Club WAS demanded by the fanbase, and Stapes has admitted that the old board could not take the Club that step further.
It was inevitable that the money people would want a major stake in the Club, and Stapes and Co were prepared to withdraw from the Club altogether. However the new world did not take up their option to purchase their shares when the time came.
Purchase of the freehold was divisive. However, whether you believe that such an asset was in the best interests of the Club, or in the best interests of the Directors, remains irrelevant. We are now back where we started, except we have a new landlord. It is yet to be divulged as to what conditions will be placed on the lease, so we cannot comment as to whether we will be better off in the long run.
The comparison with Blackpool is an interesting one. They did indeed survive on low gates and got to the promised land. Their Chairman and board had to have been in a position to fund the manager throughout the season. Adam cost £500,000 for starters, a shrewd buy from Ollie, and could not have been funded by gate money alone. Adam transformed the team in the Championship, just as he has d0one in the Premiership, and will remain a Premiership player next season.
Our position now is such that the owners will not be wanting to spend money on the playing staff unnecessarily, and so the Premiership will remain out of our reach whilst they are in charge. In fact I cannot see any financial assistance coming from our new owners, unless it is to keep us afloat. We will have to manage on gate money alone, and the expertise of the manager in putting together a team on a shoestring budget.
Whether Ridsdale managed the current situation is debatable, but he denies that it was his intention to buy the Club. You may or may not believe him, but as the owners do not appear to be football men, someone as experienced as Ridsdale will be a godsend to us at this time, with so much to do and so little time to get out of admin and up and running for the coming season. His work will only just have started then, and how he will be able to assist the manager with finances will be down to us, the supporters, to support the team. He will only be able to spend 60 % of income on wages, so the more support we can give the team, the more that the manager will be available to spend. Provided, of course, that Mr Ridsdale allows the full 60% to be put towards the team expenses. He has said that he expects the Club to make a loss in the first season, so there must be overriding other factors to be taken into account. Either way, I do not expect more than an average season from the team, who may be devoid of more of our remaining talent when the transfer window opens again.