Plymouth Argyle Fans Trust seek to build bridges with Home Park board
PLYMOUTH Argyle Fans' Trust have continued their call for greater 'financial transparency' off the pitch while pledging to support the Pilgrims in their fight to preserve their Football League status.
The Trust has come in for flack, principally over the timing of a statement on the match-day of a vital fixture, which appeared to be less-than-fulsome in its backing of the club as a whole.
Just when most parties in the city, including The Herald through both its news and sports pages, were calling on solidarity from Plymothians, whether football fans or not, it seemed Argyle Fans Trust an axe to grind.
Now, following 'feedback from fans' conducted by themselves, both on and after the day of the statement's release, when manager John Sheridan's Pilgrims threw themselves a League Two survival lifeline by beating Barnet at the end of February, the Trust has sought to clarify its intentions.
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Trust chairman Andy Symons insisted its own support of the manager and players is unswerving and congratulated both on their recent revival which has netted Plymouth 11 out of a possible 15 points, including back-to-back league wins for the first time since October.
However, Symons stressed the Trust will not 'take our eyes off matters off the pitch', arguing that its top priority is to 'help the team be successful in its fight for Football League survival'.
The statement welcomed the recently released plans of Argyle owner and chairman James Brent's proposed redevelopment at Home Park, which includes a new grandstand, but said The Trusts' desire for better 'fan engagement and more transparency in how the club works' had the backing of supporters it had asked.
A Trust statement said: "Our statement of February 26 did not intend to cast doubt on the competence or integrity of the club's board, who have all proved themselves very capable in other business fields.
"Rather, our, and many supporters' frustration has grown from specific challenges faced by the club this season – not only on the pitch, including the disappointment felt at the difficulty in appointing a full-time football CEO.
"The Trust recognises that an improvement in communication protocol is matter of priority to enable the relationship between the Trust and club to return to an agreeable level of understanding."
It added: "We will continue to support the good things the club does and try to change the not-so-good things, but we will do it constructively and with courtesy.
"Our survey suggests that Argyle fans want more transparency from the club than has been delivered thus far. We want to work with the board to look at how that can be achieved."