Club owner's a good man and his heart is in the right place
I AM almost 66 years old and have been a passionate supporter of Plymouth Argyle for 59 years. I would like personally to thank James Brent for financially keeping PAFC alive and viable. It must be a strain, but he is a good man and his heart is in the right place.
Not enough thanks can really be expressed by people like me but can I say that, although we lost to Burton, the fact Argyle are still in the Football League is down to you.
Mr Brent said in a recent article that he has been looking for a replacement for himself because he doesn't feel experienced enough to give the position its full potential.
Please believe me, Mr Brent, you have your heart in the right place and, for me, that's a far better proposition than to have someone in that position who may have more experience but not the total commitment to the club, the city of Plymouth and our supporters like you do.
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PAFC recently won three games in a row. Now we have lost four in a row, please, James, step into the home changing room, take with you all your fellow directors, the manager and his assistants, and tell the team that you are all 100 per cent behind them.
Ask them to create, in their minds, that winning is everything and it breeds nothing but success; and that they must try to dig deep and give that little bit extra.
It's not a physical thing – it's all about belief and comradeship and it can only develop from the top down.
Tell the players that you are all totally behind the manager and his team and everyone needs to know that – especially now, when it's so important to achieve 29 points in the league before January 1.
Years ago, PAFC had a manager called David Smith. Recently we have had Ian Holloway. Both managers brought a certain type of happiness to the club. It shone through the players; the whole city of Plymouth was buzzing with the success of Argyle.
The season after, when Argyle were knocked out of the FA Cup quarter-final by Watford, the attendance at that first game of the season was almost 19,000. We can get back to that position again, but success is not achievable without input from everyone.
The year we were fourth-from-top of the Championship with about 10 games left in that season, I wrote to the Herald, urging them to tell the people of Plymouth how important it was for everyone to help push Argyle into the Premier League by going along to a match and giving their support, even though it may not have been a priority in their lives at that time.
It did not happen. The attendance stayed at approx 14,000; we finished about seventh that year and have never reached that position again.
Now, in David Smith's era – approx 1986/87 – the whole team played every game like it was going to be the last of their career; the atmosphere was electric. It was the era of Tommy Tynan and it was David Smith's personality which made it happen.
That's why it's so important for James Brent, the directors, the manager and everyone connected to the club to stop blaming bad results on anyone – just get out on the pitch and tell them to find, from somewhere, that little bit extra because it's now down to character and they will benefit heaps by giving their all to the club.
Everyone wants success. Obtaining it is hard; it's not an easy task. Please, James, take on a even greater role. You will be just as good at the chairman position as anyone else; you have the club's interest at heart and that's all that matters.
Just stick at it and remind the people of Plymouth that they have an equal obligation to the club. Even if they only attend one match a year, it's £20 better to the club than if they never came to a game.