Plymouth Argyle Fans' Trust attack club's leadership prior to game
PLYMOUTH Argyle Fans' Trust attacked the League Two club's leadership just hours before last night's vital match at AFC Wimbledon.
The supporters group issued a statement yesterday afternoon in which chairman Andy Symons called for 'real leadership from the club's owner and board' and said it was 'totally unacceptable' for Argyle to find themselves in a relegation fight again.
However, Pilgrims director Peter Jones criticised the timing of the statement. He also said it was unfair and was the last thing the club needed when everyone should be pulling together.
In the Trust statement it said: "The goodwill of the supporters built last season has been eroded by a lack of direction on and off the pitch.
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"It is time for the club to deliver on its promises of transparency and for the board to communicate with the fans.
"Argyle supporters deserve to know what plans there are to halt our demise this season and to ensure that the people of Plymouth have a Football League club to enjoy for generations to come."
Trust chair Symons added in the statement: "It's totally unacceptable for Argyle to be in such a state of emergency at this stage of the season and urgent action is needed to demonstrate the board's commitment to keeping our club in the Football League.
"As well as short-term measures to support John Sheridan in any way the club can, we need assurances on the longer-term well-being of the club to make sure that the mistakes of this season aren't repeated.
"We demand real leadership from the club's owner and the board because relegation would see Argyle plummet into the unknown, causing significant loss of revenue to the club, putting off young fans, who are the lifeblood of the club, and damaging Plymouth's reputation and economy as a city.
"While the Trust will not shirk from asking questions and pressing the club to learn from mistakes and to act more transparently and professionally, this is a time for fans to step up yet again and respond as we've always done; by taking advantage of the ticket offers to pack out Home Park for the Barnet game and supporting the team fanatically for the rest of the season."
Jones said he found the timing of the statement 'very strange' and said even though he was a Trust member, he had not been consulted about the release of it.
"It was very disappointing that the statement appeared from nowhere just five hours before such an important match," said Jones.
"I found the timing very strange.
"Not only because it was ahead of such a vital game but as we also have a meeting of the Plymouth Argyle Supporters Board coming up on Saturday.
"There will be representatives of the Trust there at that meeting, so it seems very odd to put a statement like this out now.
"And, as a club we have done so much to be accessible to the fans.
"The chairman (James Brent) has made himself very accessible.
"He attends the Plymouth Argyle Supporters Board meetings with the Trust and goes to other supporters' club meetings. As a club we are very open and accessible.
"This statement is disappointing when we are trying to be accessible and transparent.
"I am a member of the Argyle Fans' Trust and I was not consulted about it (the statement).
"Everyone at Argyle should just be focused on survival."
THE next meeting of the Senior Greens takes place tomorrow at Home Park (2pm). Guest speaker will be Argyle director Colin Sexstone. For further information contact Sylvia Warren on 01752 336386