'Unity' at club as Plymouth Argyle fights for its survival against financial crisis
PLYMOUTH Argyle chiefs have insisted there is "unity in the boardroom" as the cash-strapped football club suffered a further blow.
Crisis talks were set to continue today as directors face up to the fact that the 2018 World Cup will not be landing in the city.
Despite time running out to stave off a third winding-up petition, bosses vowed to press ahead with plans to develop Home Park.
In exclusive interviews with The Herald, executive director Keith Todd and deputy chairman Paul Stapleton vowed to fight on in their bid to keep the club afloat.
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But neither would say they were "confident" of Argyle surviving Wednesday's hearing at the High Court in London, which The Herald understands is over a £700,000 tax debt.
Speaking moments after the World Cup announcement, Mr Todd admitted England's loss was "exceptionally disappointing".
But he said: "We're very, very focused on what needs to be done.
"We're doing everything to ensure that this problem is resolved. We certainly expect it to be resolved. We're doing everything that is necessary."
Mr Todd also denied accusations from some Argyle fans that the World Cup bid had influenced his decision to join the club.
"The World Cup was the icing on the cake," he said. "I had no idea about the World Cup when we entered Argyle.
"I'm a fully committed Argyle fan. When they put me in a box and take me away, they'll find a green scarf around my neck."
Both directors insisted plans for a revamped Home Park with 25,000 seats would continue.
Mr Todd said there was "active _dialogue" with Plymouth City Council and a "huge amount of interest" from firms wishing to get involved.
It is understood Mr Todd was due to travel to London today, with former Leeds United and Cardiff City chairman Peter Ridsdale remaining at Home Park this morning in an advisory role.
Sir Roy Gardner is understood to have been on a telephone link to a board meeting yesterday morning, though Mr Stapleton and Japanese director Yasuaki Kagami were not present.
A "business case" is hoped to be completed by this evening, so lawyers can persuade the High Court judge of Argyle's solvency, The Herald understands.
Mr Stapleton said: "There is unity. We are all in this together. We are working together really hard.
"We are as confident as we can be, but we are aware we are before the High Court."
Mr Stapleton also urged fans to rally behind the club.
"We want the fans to actually appreciate there is a football club here and we want them to support their team," he said.
Argyle manager Peter Reid said: "We've got to get together and fight and get out of this mess. Hopefully, the board of directors will sort the financial situation out."
What now for the city and Argyle?
Argyle Director Keith Todd vows to fight on
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