2011 is going to be one of the most difficult years in Plymouth Argyle’s history. February 9 is when we find out if our club can continue existing or face liquidation.
So it’s very encouraging to see the board pull together as a team, removing certain members who have done nothing but harm this great club. And the appointment of Peter Ridsdale as a football consultant, a man who has been there, done it, and got the t-shirt, can only be a positive step towards saving the club, even if his past wasn’t always filled with good times.
And unfortunately, the only way to make up the £760,000 owed to HM Revenue and Customs is to shed the short-term assets; the players.
Seeing Craig Noone move to Brighton and Hove Albion on the opening of the transfer window was hard to take. The winger has been a shining light in the dark of Home Park this season, scoring four goals in 22 first team appearances, as well as the countless number of assists.
But it was believed to be £300,000 up front that secured his move to Brighton and that amount can hardly be turned down. Plus he is a younger very talented player with high aspirations, so it was only right all in all.
Reda Johnson became the next player to be part of the exodus earlier this week. The Benin international, who only signed for the Pilgrims in 2009, joined Sheffield Wednesday for an undisclosed fee. Another bright young player, who has been brilliant at the back for us but, again we still have a lot of defenders to fill the position and if it’s a similar amount to Noone, then the board have almost reached the required target.
However, that still leaves 160,000 pounds to find. Who will be next to go?
The two most prominent names are Rory Fallon and George Donnelly. The two strikers have been outside of manager Peter Reid’s team with Donnelly who is currently on loan at Stockport, whilst Fallon only featured 12 times for Argyle before being sent on loan to Championship side Ipswich Town.
The loan move for Fallon had a permanent deal attached to it, so that seems his most likeliest destination though it is rumoured that Sheffield Wednesday have also tabled a bid. Losing Fallon would be a blow but during his time at Home Park, the Green Army has never seen the best of him and the striker’s transfer fee alone makes it an undeniably good move.
I would be sad to see Donnelly go, as he came to Plymouth in 2009 from Skelmersdale United with a big reputation for scoring a lot of goals, and it’s just a shame he’s never been allowed to showcase it during his time with the club. But the forward has made no secret of his desire to leave this season, so either Stockport, Morecambe or Fleetwood Town, the potential interests, stumping up the £50,000 Plymouth want for him, would be good for both sides.
If that is all the players Peter Reid has to sell, then that would be alright in my opinion. It would leave us light of strikers and a winger but we would still have an okay sized squad to deal with the rest of the season. Plus with the tax bill paid it would allow the transfer embargo, currently on the club, to be lifted, allowing Reid to bring in a few more loan players to fill the spaces. This would hopefully include the return of Conor Clifford from Chelsea who was instrumental in midfield during his first loan spell at Home Park.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.