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PAFC: I hope you have a backup plan Mr. Guilfoyle?

We are now two games into the season with a third fast approaching and there has been a further delay in completing the deal that will see ownership of the club handed to Peter Ridsdale while the stadium and surrounding land will be handed over to Bishop International Limited (of Gibraltar). Last week administrator Brendan Guilfoyle told an impatient Argyle fan base that the deal would be completed this week, now Guilfoyle has announced that Bishop International will be in a position to complete the deal next week! How many more “next weeks” will we see? how long will the players and staff have to wait to be paid as there is no money is the coffers to pay the £230,000 wage bill for the current month. Guilfoyle is obviously desperate to complete the deal as pressure mounts on him; this has been borne out by the fact that Guilfoyle has tried to get a court order to force Bishop to cough up the £230,000 owed to pay the clubs current expenses, which has been denied according to some reputable sources (the BBC’s Matt Slater) on my Twitter feeds! There has been a complete lack of response from Bishop International Limited about the owed money.

I believe that Bishop International will not sign on the dotted line until Plymouth City Council gives them the go ahead for their development plans. I believe they are effectively holding the club and city to ransom and Guilfoyle is too weak to simply cut BIL off and go with one of the prior bidders should they still be interested. I really don’t think that Guilfoyle has a backup plan; this is his only option now, hence why he is staunchly sticking with Bishop! This whole administration process has been a joke, Guilfoyle has not done what is best for the club; either James Brent or Paul Buttivant would have been a better options, Buttivant was even open to a joint venture with Brent.

Guilfoyle has also been attempting to pass the blame onto the Football Association by claiming that the governing body has not performed due diligence over the transfer of the golden share. I’m not surprised that the Football Association hasn’t just handed over the share to Ridsdale given his track record with football clubs and the mysteriousness of the preferred bidders. I still feel this deal was completely orchestrated by Guilfoyle and Ridsdale, far too many coincidences to simply write off any thoughts of the club being stitched up; the biggest thing for me is that fact that Ridsdale will take ownership of the club for £1. Ridsdale is a wealthy man; if he is serious about Argyle then why doesn’t he put his hand in his pocket to pay staff and players? C’mon Ridsdale, put your money where your mouth is; show us that you’re serious and not out to make a quick buck!

On the field; Plymouth faced Championship side Millwall in the Carling Cup at Home Park on Tuesday night and the Pilgrims exited the competition at the first hurdle sunk by a solitary Dany N’Guessan goal. Argyle were always on the back foot facing a club two leagues above but defended well and even had a chance to force a replay but Lions keeper Steve Mildenhall was equal to Matt LeCointe shot! I’m not bothered by Argyle’s exit from the Carling Cup; or even the FA Cup, Argyle’s priority should be league performances, not being sidetracks by cup aspirations!

Update [11 August 2011 @ 20:50]: The staff and players have been asked to defer wages for a ninth month by administrators. The loyalty of the staff is absolutely amazing, I know that I wouldn’t be waiting around to be paid; I would have walked away and gotten another job way before now. The staff have been living on donations and part wages for nine months, which is really not on, it’s a disgrace. If no money is forthcoming or completion on the deal doesn’t happen next week, Guilfoyle needs to end the exclusivity deal with Kevin Heaney (who is said to be having financial issues of his own) and Bishop International Limited. I can’t see too many new players staying without pay, I believe that non-payment is a valid reason to terminate any contract they have with the club; or they could just refuse to sign the deferral and they’ll be released just like Kari Arnason when the Icelandic player refused to sign a seventh wage deferral a few months back!

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