I am writing to let everyone know that with immediate effect I am stepping down from the role of Chair of the Argyle Fans’ Trust.
In the last couple of weeks since it became apparent that James Brent’s bid was on the home straight I have thought long and hard about where I see my own role going forward.
In summary I feel that perhaps I was the right person for the right time. I love it when a goal is in front of me and there is a target to be reached. I love the day to day confrontation that many duck away from, love being in constant communication with the fanbase and in short I love the buzz.
Without wanting to cause offence to anyone, I have no energy or drive to want to pester James Brent for free buses or to introduce a smoking shelter.
In summary I feel my work is done and I am a great believer in stepping away at the right moment.
If you are not on this list then I am sorry. I would be here all day if went through everyone that has helped us.
To a group of people that I had never met before in my life……………
Players and staff – Amazing. The loyalty shown is like nothing I have ever seen before. The staff have had a high profile during the process but the players deserver immense credit. In a world where we have players on 250k a WEEK kicking out in petulance or refusing to take the pitch for their team, our boys have shown us all why we all fell in love with the game.
Taverners – In particular – Gary, Mark and Bill. I count all three of you as great friends. How many times have we sat and thought “will we get through this?” or “how will we get funds to the staff?” – You did it lads and you should be very, very proud of yourselves. Your work rate and abilities are an inspiration to thousands of Argyle supporters. I know that James Brent has the utmost admiration the work of the GTs. My view is that as Argyle move back to what we should be (a community based Club), the Taverners are a key part of the future. Carl Fletcher was right – people have been given MBEs for far less. Proud to call you my friends.
Pasoti - In short a fantastic website and the most powerful Argyle related communication tool there is. You helped the Trust massively and I will always be grateful for that. The amount of money raised by this site, the amount of media that crawl over it every day, the sheer traffic generated on here and it effectiveness in mobilising supporters makes pasoti the most powerful football website in the Country.
Peter Ryan – A top man, with a fantastic ethos. He was a huge loss to the Trust and I really felt it when he left. Another that works with one motivation – to do his best for the supporters.
Lee Jameson – A right bloody drama Queen Just kidding. He loves Argyle, he’s not afraid of hard work and always speaks his mind. He has been fantastic behind the scenes for the Trust since Peter’s departure and I will always be grateful for that – It allowed me to carry on harassing people!
John Petrie – In my view the brightest of all the Trust committee. John has an ability to cut through a debate and find the solution. I would love to see John step up and become Trust Chair although I understand his work/ life commitments may not allow that to happen. Get your hair cut though mate.
Graham Clark – I’ve spent some hours talking to you Graham. We’ve shared the ups and downs. It should also never be forgotten what Graham did for the Trust. He took it onto the next level and brought an inclusive attitude which is exactly what we needed. Graham also has a knack of asking the right probing question at the right time.
Ian De Lar – What a researcher. Ian was an amazing contributor to the CP committee. He did not always have a lot to say at the meetings but when the story is written, the discoveries made and revelations exposed by Posty will show just how vital his contribution has been.
Jamie Yabsley – Jamie was part of the CP committee for a shorter period than expected but nonetheless he is a bright, insightful person who without doubt added value. The addition of Jamie to the CP committee made a mockery of those who claimed it was a closed shop.
Tony Chowell – I love you Tony you are a good man and I didn’t ever take your comments to heart. In fact they acted as more of an inspiration.
Wozzer – Just a rock solid bloke. You need help, he helped. You need backing, he’s back you. You need protesting, he’d protest with you. Another whose only goal is to do what is right.
Peter Jones – Far too posh for his own good. Seriously though it has been an absolute pleasure to work with Peter. I firmly believe that if Peter had been listened to by the old board then we wouldn’t have been through the last 12 months of hell. I am a positive person and can honestly say that at no time did I let myself see anyone but James Brent owning the Club. Peter shared that belief. Go on Peter, throw your hat in the ring to be part of the future.
Edd Moore – I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been frustrated at the lack of local media interest. There was one day when Argyle takeover news came behind a story about a traffic jam! Despite all of that one local journalist (and ardent Argyle supporter) has worked his backside off to raise our profile. Edd has pushed and pushed for stories and I am sure that with the information at his disposal he is the perfect to write the book on this saga. Within the media ranks I would also like to thank Sparksy who has given our cause an unbelievable amount of coverage and Natalie Cornah at the BBC has also been very supportive.
Peter Ridsdale – This may surprise people but I am always honest and straight. There have been times when we have been at each other’s throats but Peter Ridsdale deserves recognition for 1. Saving the Football Club from HRMC whilst the M7 stood there like rabbits caught in the headlights. 2. Always fronting up at our meetings and always picking up the phone. 3. He showed some real balls in the final days of the negotiations with players……. to not recognise his role would be childish of me. I also believe that James Brent has pulled off a masterstroke in find a role for Peter Ridsdale that harnesses all his strengths.
James Brent – I say this as a lifelong supporter of Argyle – thanks for being there James. During my time as a Union official I’ve met some real characters of the business world. James is by far the sharpest of the lot. That set alongside his values makes him the perfect man to lead Argyle at this time. The way he played out some of the in confidence negotiations was nothing short of phenomenal. A top poker player. For somebody who started off as a non-football fan, the time and energy you have put into saving our Club has been astonishing. The late night calls and emails. Ian Newell and myself sending you videos and pictures in an attempt to hook you, the odd bit of emotional pressure stuck in there I am sorry but we knew it had to be you and we knew you would catch the bug. Plymouth Argyle is in safe hands. James – you now own a very, very special Football Club.
Ian Newell – Left him to last on purpose because he is a complete pain in the a**e. Actually I left him to last because I’ve never said this to him but he has kept me going. I have dealt with conflict all my working life but one thing I quickly picked up on was that many Argyle supporters worried when we stepped into that environment. From challenging Heaney at the holiday inn, to fronting up Guilfoyle, to “unleashing the dogs” on the ex Directors, to the 11th hr campaign against P&A- the one person who never blinked was Ian. Those moments of confrontation helped to save Argyle. You being “there with me” mate helped me to take the deep breath and push the button.
To the Society Board. You came into place at a difficult time and when the CP committee was well established. The Club is now saved.
It’s all there for you.
My advice and its only that would be to hold elections at the earliest opportunity and to never forget that Plymouth Argyle supporters are a very wide church. The Trust potentially has a huge role to play in the future but it must act inclusively. Taking the “we are the Trust we know best” route will see the body dead in 12 months. Embrace others, take on board alternative views and take your place at the table. Naturally the Trust represents the biggest section of Argyle fans (in terms of membership driven organisations) and it will come to the fore if you take the right path.
Good luck and I will always support the Trust. See you at the AGM.
SORRY AND THANK YOU TO FANS
I have to say it. My ego isn’t big enough to think that people actually joined the Trust because of me but if anyone is feeling let down by my exit I apologise. I have given everything. Basically it has been like having two full-time jobs. I joined the ISC to help save the Club. I now step away and leave the future to others.
It has been an honour and a privilege to represent Trust members and Argyle supporters. It is something that I will never forget. From the packed out Lower Guildhall meeting, to the Pavilions and to seeing the players off to Burton. They all rank amongst the proudest moments of my life.
I’ve said to Gary, Mark and Bill that I am happy to help them if they ever need anything (that’s if they want me) but as far as the official fans’ representational role goes this is a long goodbye from me. Saturday afternoons and Tuesday evenings just thinking about on the pitch matters seemed like a distant dream a year ago. I can’t wait to experience it again.
I best put it in here before somebody asks – no I won’t be going anywhere near the Argyle boardrooms.
All I know is that the book will be a blinder. I best save the content or it may affect sales () but wow.
There are some things that will probably be too hot even for the book!
The heat felt by Guilfoyle at the Guildhall meeting, the toe to toe row with him outside the Pavilions, vicious but passionate exchanges with Peter Ridsdale, picking each other up from the lowest points, the content of calls to Stapleton, Heaney and others, outing Heaney at the holiday Inn, exposing the ex-directors antics, fronting up P&A, blood, sweat and tears. We gave it our all and in the end that was good enough.
Another thing that has always stood out is the banter between everyone. In the darkest times a dry sense of humour has often been what has lifted us again.
We refused to let our Football Club fall into the wrong hands. We refused to accept that our Club was destined to die. We refused to accept that those in suits would beat the people who this Club truly belongs to.
Feeling sad now as I finish this because I know I will miss it but I also know that it’s the right call.
An amazing range of emotions being felt as I think back over the months. Anger, Passion, love of Argyle, spirit but most of all pride. I am so proud that against all the odds we stood up and said “You will not get OUR Club” I am so proud that I have a group of people that I had never previously met that I now count as some of my best friends. I am so proud that when Argyle run out on Saturday as James Brent’s team we can look around the ground and think “WE DID IT”.
Ladies and Gentlemen. I really, really hate to say I told you so …. But………….
WE’RE PLYMOUTH ARGYLE AND WE’LL NEVER DIE.