Plymouth look for ground sale to reduce debts

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Plymouth plan to sell Home Park to their holding company in order to reduce debts after revealing a loss of £2.8 million.

The Coca-Cola Championship club have revealed plans to sell the ground to a newly-created property company, which is wholly owned by Plymouth Argyle Football Company Holdings Limited at a market value of £7.5m.

Argyle attributed the loss for the year ending May 31, 2009 to having the highest wage bill in the club's history and a fall in attendances.

The Devon club also plan to offer 90,000 shares to existing shareholders at £22.22 in a bid to raise just short of £2m after admitting they "came down to earth with a bang in 2009".

Plymouth were hit with a transfer embargo in December last year due to unpaid debts, but that was lifted by the Football League in January.

A statement released by the club this morning read: "Plymouth Argyle Football Company (PAFC) has sent to its shareholders the accounts for the year to May 31, 2009, together with a circular to a notice convening PAFC's 2010 AGM for 4.30pm on March 31, 2010.

"The circular also contains details of an open offer of 90,000 new PAFC shares to shareholders at £22.22 per share that is being underwritten by PAFC's holding company, Plymouth Argyle Football Company (Holdings) Limited (PAFCH), as well as a plan to sell Home Park football ground at market value to a new property company wholly owned by PAFCH.

"These actions are aimed at reducing debt levels in PAFC and thus strengthening its balance sheet. In addition, they should provide a basis for commercial property and development finance to be raised in order to develop the stadium in support of the club's ambitions, as well as Plymouth's support for England's bid to host the 2018/22 World Cup."

The statement continued: "Following the 2008 results, which showed our eighth consecutive year of league improvement and our highest league finish for 22 years, we came down to earth with a bang in 2009."

Plymouth are currently second-bottom of the Championship and face a battle to avoid relegation to League One.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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