I hope everyone is well.
Firstly on Friday's meeting and more details. As Graham Clarke rightly posted viewtopic.php?f=30&t=56140&p=964969#p964969 it would be highly inappropriate to disclose financial details from The Rescue Plan. More than being inappropriate it would be potentially damaging to future negotiations should the Rescue Plan have to be called upon.
The attendees are the meeting (a couple of people have asked) were
Peter Ryan (Trust)
Lee Jameson (Trust)
Chris Webb (Trust)
Ian Newell (Pasoti)
Damon Lenszner (Green Taverners)
Mark Russell (Green Taverners)
Jamie Yabsley (Jamie works for the City Council and is an avid Argyle supporter. He responded to the call for volunteers and felt that he had something to add - which is without a doubt true after meeting him).
Ian De Lar (our resident detective).
The basic summary of the meeting is very simple - If the current bid performs then James Brent is happy to do everything possible to save our club, the City Council have made the same pledge via Vivien Pengelly and all of the Supporters offered the same level of committment should the need arise.
There was a clear view that everyone would have to pull together if the worst case scenario became a reality.
As you know we have agreed to meet this Friday again and hopefully we will be able to start putting some real meat on the bones. It was difficult to go into huge detail on Friday as in the end due to Viviens diary constraints we only had 1 hour together as a group.
I have read posts by a few people on PASOTI over the weekend stating that we are attempting to de-rail the process.
1. This is not what James Brent wants
2. We have made it very clear to Brendan Guilfoyle and Peter Ridsdale that if Kevin Heaney has the money then it is in everyone's interests to conclude the deal ASAP.
The Rescue Plan is exactly that - A plan if the club needs to be rescued due to the failure of the Heaney/Ridsdale bid. It is not a rival but we feel it is without doubt credible.
I would also like to add a personal thank you to Peter Ryan for both his help with drafting Friday's press release and his general "always there" attitude during what is an extremely demanding time for us all.
A couple of other bits we have been up to over the weekend. Firstly via the Club press release and also media contacts we have been alerted to the comment that the current bid is the only one that they would support. This obviously causes concern. Please see below our letter to the League - sent today.
http://www.argylefanstrust.com/2011/07/ ... july-2011/
Argyle Fans’ Trust
17th July 2011
Greg Clarke Esq
Dear Mr Clarke
Plymouth Argyle FC
As Chairman of the Interim Committee of the Argyle Fan’s Trust, I am writing to you in order to offer my help as you set out to make your decisions relating to the future of Plymouth Argyle Football Club.
You will be fully aware of the current status relating to the Bid proposed by Peter Ridsdale and Kevin Heaney.
It is not for me to comment on their proposals – not least because of the secrecy that envelops them make it impossible for supporters to make an educated decision.
However, I am most concerned that Peter Ridsdale and the administrator, Brendan Guilfoyle, are positioning their bid as the only viable option for the club going forward. “There is no alternative”, is the narrative – I am sure that you are aware of this too.
Now, there are doubts about Mr Heaney’s financial ability to complete the deal (and the record to date on meeting timetables and delivering committed cash is far from encouraging). Of itself this is most worrying. But it is simply not true that there is no alternative.
There is in fact a strong rescue plan in place, backed by the leader of Plymouth City Council, and by James Brent, the CEO and founder of Akkeron Hotels, formerly the Chairman of the Plymouth City Development Corporation. The Argyle Fans’ Trust and other supporters groups met with the Leader of the City and James Brent in person on Friday. It is clear that if needed there would be a great amount of will and determination to see The Rescue Plan work.
I attach, for your reference, a link to a piece that appeared in this yesterday’s Western Morning News (the broadsheet newspaper for the West Country – the article was backed up with an editorial expressing great concerns about the current situation at the club).
If this bid were to succeed, the club would be run on a sustainable basis, with strong corporate governance – and a total commitment to the Plymouth community. And there would be no concerns about “fit and proper persons”
Mr Brent has done his due diligence, and is ready to move fast. He is not dependent on external funding.
All parties involved in The Rescue Plan (James Brent, City Council and the supporters) are fully committed to not “hijacking” the preferred bidder. If they can finance the deal then it should be completed ASAP.
What is upsetting us as well as the “no alternative” rhetoric is that a Club statement on Friday, after Mr Ridsdale’s meeting with the Football League in Preston, intimated that the Kevin Heaney / Peter Ridsdale proposal would be the only one that the Football League would support in a bid to save Argyle. I personally find it amazing that the authorities would OK a bid that has financial concerns, dual ownership issues and is shrouded in secrecy but would turn down a partnership between the Local Authorities, a reputable businessman and backed by the majority of supporters. Could you possibly clarify your position on Mr Ridsdale’s statement?
I and my colleagues would be very happy to talk to relevant officials at the Football League at any time if you felt that a discussion would be of use to you. Just so you are aware, in the interests of transparency, this letter and your reply will be shared with Plymouth Argyle Supporters.
I await your reply with interest and thank you for your consideration.
Argyle Fans’ Trust
http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/rescue-pla ... story.html
You may also recall that last week we wrote to Brendan Guilfoyle after it was rumoured that he would attempt to liquidate the club if the current preferred bidder failed to perform. Obviously Mr Guilfoyle was ill last week but we understand that he is now back at work. On this basis we have asked the question again.
Also in a bid to kill off the rumours that we are attempting to hijack the current bid we have asked Brendan Guilfoyle directly if they money needed to complete the purchase of the club is being held in an Escrow account by solicitors. If it is then we will all know that we are truly closer to seeing our club purchased.
This letter is below.
http://www.argylefanstrust.com/wp-conte ... y-2011.pdf
Argyle Fans’ Trust
17th July 2011
Mr Brendan Guilfoyle
P and A Partnership
Plymouth Argyle FC
I hope that you have recovered from your illness and are now fit and well.
Firstly, I wrote to you on 12/7/11 asking you to comment on the speculation that you would “liquidate the club if the current bid was to fall through”. I understand that you were unwell at the time but I have received confirmation that you have been able to respond to emails recently and thought that you may have missed mine when catching up.
Having taken advice, our knowledge is that you would have to continue seeking the best possible deal for creditors and only move to liquidation if there was no other option. This position needs to be clarified by you. As an Officer of the Court your answer carries more weight that anyone else involved within the process.
Moving onto the primary reason for this email – It has been intimated in some quarters that those involved in The Rescue Plan are seeking to undermine the current preferred bidder. Once again, I can assure you that this is absolutely not the case. This plan is being put together because as a responsible group of football supporters we do not want our club left with no alternative if the worst case scenario became a reality – That is it. Nothing more, nothing less.
It would give a lot of confidence to Argyle supporters in the current bid if you could confirm that the full funds (we believe this to be in the region on £5m) are being held in an escrow account ready to be handed over as soon as the Football League share is transferred. If this is the case then I think we will all accept that the preferred bidder (a) has the money in place and (b) is ready to complete the deal.
When we last met up, you committed to meeting the supporters groups once per week as a matter of good communications. Obviously it is fully understandable that you could not make last week. Would it be possible to let us have your availability for the forthcoming week?
We look forward to hearing from you and we are happy to discuss any element of the process with you in person at anytime. For your information this letter and any reply received will be shared with Plymouth Argyle supporters.
Argyle Fans’ Trust
Finally, via my work connections (they had to come in useful one day!) I have been able to obtain Gordon Taylors contact details. I am going to give him a call tomorrow to get the official view of the PFA on everything.