Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Daily Update

Firstly, the football news. There are post-Carling Cup interviews with Matt Lecointe and Peter Reid up on the official site, and another match report available from the Evening Herald. are also reporting that the loan deal for Hull winger Will Atkinson is all but completed.

Meanwhile, on the takeover front, it appears that we are rapidly approaching the endgame. Here, in a handy timeline form, are the key events that have unfolded over the last 24 hours or so:

Yesterday Evening:
  • Brendan Guilfoyle appears on ITV's The Westcountry Tonight. Backs the Bishop International deal as the only realistic path forwards. Also appears to insinuate that the James Brent backed contingency plan is unable to provide the £240,000 needed to meet the August wage bill.
  • Argyle Fans' Trust ISC chair Chris Webb posts on PASOTI. Explains that it is not a case of Brent not having the cash, but rather that he is unwilling to immediately hand over a quarter of a million pounds to the administrator without first securing agreements with the secured creditors.
  • Chris also reports that several of the team behind the contingency plan had spoken to Peter Ridsdale after the Millwall game. The Riddler was "more confident than ever that KH [Kevin Heaney] would complete" next week and was planning to accompany Heaney to a meeting with secured creditors Lombard in London on Wednesday.
This Morning:
  • The Plymouth Herald report that staff and players will be asked to sign an agreement to defer their wages for August. The Herald also notes that Lombard have rejected an offer to settle the £2.1 million debt secured against Home Park.
  • Then, a massive U-turn. It emerges that P & A are taking Bishop International to court, this afternoon, to try and forceably extract the money for the August wage bill. According to a statement from the administrators, "The move follows a lack of response from Bishop international Limited to a request last week from the joint administrators for funds to pay August wages for players and staff and confirmation that they can complete the purchase by the middle of this month."
This Afternoon:
  • BBC Sport journalist Matt Slater tweets that Brendan Guilfoyle has released a statement, apologising to James Brent for any confusion caused by his Westcountry interview. Graham Clark, former Trust ISC chair, posts the complete statement on PASOTI.
  • P & A's application to the court in Manchester to force BIL to cough up is rejected.

So where does all of this leave us? On the brink, would be the short answer. Today's events seem to suggest that Brenda is desperately trying to rid himself of Heaney and co and frantically scrambling to mend fences with James Brent. However, any deal with Brent would take time to complete (two or three weeks at a minimum), and it appears that Guilfoyle's boss at P & A, Jeremy Priestly, is unwilling to take on the liability for August's wages. It's hard to think of a time when liquidation seemed more likely. Indeed, some (usually fairly optimistic souls) such as Contingency Committee member and fund raising supremo Ian Newell appear convinced that the club is about to bite the dust. Others, such as the Beeb's Matt Slater, seem more optimistic, sensing that there is still a good chance for the Brent/Trust deal to succeed.

In light of these developments, the Trust is organising a Save Our Club meeting for Saturday morning. The venue is still to be confirmed, although Plymouth Pavillions seems the most likely candidate. Keep checking the Trust website for details. If you can't attend, but still want to help, how about donating to the cost of the venue hire (£2000, if it turns out to be the Pavillions)? You can do this by using the "Donate" button on the top right of any page on PASOTI. This is still labelled "Sponsor Le Keeper", but all donations will now go to the Trust.

If you want to read all the Argyle news without clicking on a load of links, why not head over to Greens On Screens' Daily Diary?

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