D-Day approaches for Plymouth

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Plymouth Argyle supporters club secretary Peter Ryan believes a decision allowing a consortium headed by Truro City chairman Kevin Heaney to take control of the club could be the beginning of the end for The Pilgrims.

The Football League are set to reveal on Friday whether a deal involving Heaney, the owner of Truro, passes their dual ownership test, which states no person can be involved in running two different clubs.

In addition, proof over funds that the consortium that Heaney is heading, Bishop International Limited, have been slow, leading to the belief that if he takes control, things are unlikely to improve for Argyle.

"It could signal the beginning of the end," Ryan told GiveMeFootball. "I hope [the Football League] show some balls for a change and actually stick by their governance and agenda that they're supposed to stand by.

"The possibility of contracts being signed and the possibility of money coming into the club is an attractive one but you wonder if it will be out of the frying pan and into the fire.

"We have a bidder trying to buy the club, but he doesn't actually have any money, we have an administrator who has done an absolutely abysmal job in making constant extensions to allow this dubious character to buy the club, and in the meantime the Football League have done nothing."

The deal proposed is for BIL to sell the football side of the club to acting chairman Peter Ridsdale for £1, allowing the company to own the club's stadium and the surrounding property.

The deal with Bishop International was announced in July, but the exclusive contract allowing the company to take control of Plymouth, who went into administration in March, ran out on August 12th.


Furthermore, the paying of the club's staff and players, who have been paid on time once since January, is also hanging over administrator Brendan Guidfoyle's head, the man who instigated the sale of Leeds United and Crystal Palace.

Delays in the completion of the takeover has led to further frustration around Home Park, constant holdups that according to Ryan leaves the blame firmly at the administrator's feet.

"I hold the administrator responsible and his conduct of this administration has been tragic," he added.

"It doesn't seem right where the relationship between the outgoing directors, who brought the club into the mess in the first place, the administrator and the person who came in to run the club are so tight and strong and it seems to make the administrator not independent."

Ryan even believes that the current bid to buy the club could include the previous directors, whose tenure almost saw the club enter liquidation.

"There is a feeling the old directors will benefit from this, and that lurking behind the bid is the old directors. People do not want that to happen.

"And that means diverting money from staff, whose money is owned to them from directors, who are then not out of pocket."

An alternative offer from local businessman James Brent is seen as the fallback if Heaney's bid falls through or is not ratified by the Football League, but constant delays and extension of deadlines by the administrator, as well as the short time frame available for a bid to be completed, means liquidation is a genuine possibility.

A deadline of September 13th has been set to pay staff and players at Plymouth, with the deadline to secure a deal with BIL set for August 26th. The date is make or break for the future of the club.

"We're very very close to liquidation if this deal is not completed," Ryan added.

"That would mean the time frame has become very short. Payment of players and staff has to be done by the 13th September. I don't think there will be another deferral because it won't be accepted by the staff.

"The reality is that he's got until the 26th August with Heaney, if that doesn't happen he's got 10 working days to do a deal with Brent. He gave five months to Heaney and couldn't do a deal, I'm not sure how he can expect a deal to be done in 10 days.

"I don't think the administrator thinks he can do a deal with Brent. Liquidation is a very real threat."

Meanwhile, Plymouth's start to the season on the pitch is a reflection of their predicament off it, with just one point and two goals coming from the club's opening three matches in Npower League Two, leaving Peter Reid's side third from bottom of the Football League.

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