New director says Plymouth Argyle have a good future
NEW boardroom signing Colin Sexstone believes Plymouth Argyle can reclaim their place in the Championship, but insisted that goal will take time.
Sexstone has joined the Pilgrims' board as a non-executive director after being impressed by the 'ambition and common sense approach' of owner and chairman James Brent and his fellow members.
The former Bristol City chief executive and chairman said he had enjoyed his visits to Plymouth and enjoyed watching Argyle 'over the past couple of months'.
Sexstone said he will bring to Home Park 'long and hard-earned years of football experience', which he is hopeful can benefit the League Two side.
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The 64-year-old insisted he had no ambitions to be anything other than a non-executive director, and is hoping his 'extensive footballing knowledge, contacts and business acumen' can lift the Pilgrims both on and off the pitch.
Sexstone said it was clear after watching the inconsistent displays of the Pilgrims that manager Carl Fletcher's job 'was work in progress' and should be judged as such.
The former Gloucestershire Cricket Club chief executive believes there is a new realism 'not just on the board but with the fans too', as a direct result of last year's seven-month spell in administration that past mistakes must not be repeated.
Sexstone told Herald Sport: "I'm delighted to have been asked to join the Argyle board in this capacity and will do all I can to help restore the club's fortunes in whatever way I can.
"If I didn't think I could be of any use, or that James (Brent) and his fellow board members were sympathetic to my vision of how the club can be run, I wouldn't have joined.
"I really believe there is a good future for Argyle and that there is a common will from board and fans alike that the club will succeed.
"Obviously, after watching from afar with horror how close Argyle came to going out of business or the Football League, it's clear the job of restoring their fortunes is not going to be achieved overnight.
"The important fact is that it can be done, but with patience.
"It would be the height of stupidity if one didn't learn from previous mistakes and I don't think that's likely to happen here."
Sexstone, who spent a combined total of 11 years in his two roles with Bristol City, added: "So, I've been asked to try and help the club raise revenues without it impacting on the fans.
"I've had success with that in the past at Bristol City and at Gloucestershire and know that it's possible to get the right balance, so that ambitions can be realised on and off the field.
"It's not easy and sometimes fans and those with the club's interests at heart will feel frustrated at the perceived lack of progress.
"For example, I have watched Argyle play on a couple of occasions recently and it's fair to say that the quality of their performances have varied.
"They were poor in what was a poor game against (AFC) Wimbledon but then they were unlucky not to have done better than drawn against Gillingham, who are top of the division.
"But, in my view, this up-and-down form is only natural as Argyle are an evolving side and so consistency is going to be hard to achieve.
"But can Argyle get back to the Championship? Yes, they can, but it's not going to happen overnight and it will need to be done having set in place a sound financial foundation."
Sexstone's decade-long spell with Bristol City began in 2001 after spending the previous five years at Gloucestershire.
During that period, City won promotion to the Championship and came close to going up to the Premier League in 2008, losing to Hull City in the the play-off finals.
TICKETS for Argyle's League Two derby at Exeter City on Saturday, December 15 (12noon) go on sale next week.
Tickets are limited to one per club member and go on sale on Monday to full club members.
Any remaining tickets will subsequently be released on a staggered basis for White and Pilgrim Members on November 26 and 28 respectively.
Argyle have been allocated 1,300 tickets for the game.
Tickets can be bought in person, by post, over the phone on 0845 872 3335 or online at www.eticketing.co.uk/pafc