New Chief Executive on cards as Plymouth Argyle close in on John Ward for director role
A NEW chief executive is on the cards at Plymouth Argyle as the League Two club close in on appointing John Ward as their director of football.
It continues to be a period of change behind the scenes at Home Park after the team's disappointing start to the season.
Argyle announced yesterday that Martin Baker, who had been their acting chief executive since January, had left to 'pursue other interests'.
The club also confirmed they were in contract talks with their chosen candidate to take over as director of football.
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They did not reveal who that was, but Herald Sport understands it is 61-year-old Ward, who was the manager of Colchester United until September.
The appointment is expected to be announced before the Devon derby against Exeter City at St James' Park on Saturday.
Argyle's board of directors are likely to start the search for a new chief executive at their next monthly meeting.
They will almost certainly be seeking someone with previous football experience to fill the position.
Baker initially arrived at Argyle as finance director after James Brent completed his buy-out of the club in October 2011.
He then also assumed the role of acting chief executive when David Felwick, Richard Holliday and Peter Jones were appointed as directors.
Baker is also the finance director of another of Brent's companies – north Devon-based surfwear company Saltrock.
He had not previously worked at a football club before starting his stint at Argyle.
Argyle announced the appointment of former Bristol City chief executive and chairman Colin Sexstone to their board of directors last month. Sexstone soon recommended that a director of football should be brought in to work alongside manager Carl Fletcher.
Sexstone has led that search, with input from Fletcher, and interviews were carried out on Sunday.
A club statement said: "From a high-quality field of candidates, we have identified the person who best fills the necessary criteria that will take the club forward.
"We have begun the process of discussing contractual matters with our preferred candidate and hope to be able to make an announcement regarding his appointment shortly."
Herald Sport revealed last Wednesday that Ward was a leading candidate for the position of director of football.
He was sacked as Colchester boss in September after a winless start to the season for the League One outfit.
Ward has vast football experience, having worked as number two to Graham Taylor when he was the boss of Watford and Aston Villa.
He later became the manager at York City, Bristol Rovers, Bristol City, Cheltenham Town and Carlisle United.
Ward was also the assistant boss at Wolverhampton Wanderers to Colin Lee and Dave Jones, as well as having a short spell in caretaker control in between.