Date: 28th October 2016 at 12:19am
Written by:

It’s exactly five years ago to the day that Plymouth Argyle Football Club was saved from extinction.

October 28th 2011 was the day it was announced that James Brent had completed his takeover of Argyle, the club exited administration and the Golden Share was given back to the club.
It was an historic day for the city of Plymouth and the football world with the legalities of the deal completed just three days later.

The year of 2011 was a dark time for PAFC, players, staff and fans and after seven months of heartache, worry and frustration we discovered that our football club would not be liquidated.
The day after it was announced that James Brent’s company Green Pilgrim Limited had purchased the club Argyle travelled to Cheltenham for a League Two fixture. The result didn’t matter because the game became an emotional event for the Green Army packed into the tiny stadium and scattered around the world.
Despite losing 2-1 it was a party for the fans and the players. We were still alive and kicking!

Administration was a time when fans, staff and players came together as a community to save a grand old football club; a 125-year old Plymouth institution. 
The staff and players were at the forefront of the battle by deferring their wages for month after month and set a record for the first unfunded administration at a football club. We are forever grateful for their financial sacrifices.

During 2011 we witnessed just how far people would go to save Argyle. The fans went to extraordinary lengths to raise funds to pay the staff who were in extreme financial difficulties; it was a way of showing our gratitude to a fantastic group of people who kept the club alive.
A small group of businessmen formed the Green Taverners and set about raising as much cash as possible to help the staff. Their successful Fan Fests raised thousands of pounds and today are still a pre-match feature for many fans.
Led by Argyle Fans’ Trust chairman Chris Webb the supporters also kept the pressure on lead Administrator Brendan Guilfoyle to ensure the club would be saved from liquidation and a coalition of fans, former club directors and James Brent formed the Contingency Group who sought the help of Plymouth City Council.

Before the club was saved two major events happened that would shape that era and draw nationwide attention to a broken administration process.
Firstly, the fans organised a candlelit vigil outside of Home Park stadium; a camp site was erected outside the Devonport End and fuelled by donations of pasties and pizzas fans operated a rotational system to man the vigil 24 hours a day. In homage to the plight of the club the candles were never extinguished during the vigil.
The vigil attracted local and nationwide media interest and highlighted the plight of the staff, players and fans.

The second event was the threat of strike action from the players. Led by experienced players Carl Fletcher and Romain Larrieu and supported by then-manager Peter Reid the players called a press conference and threatened to boycott the game against Burton Albion unless they were finally paid some wages.
This news was reported in several national newspapers and forced the administrator into paying a percentage of wages.

The club, the staff, the players and the fans stood strong together and waited for that momentous announcement five years ago today.

A quick fire summary of 2011 – Winding up petition, unpaid staff, unpaid players, unpaid contractors, unpaid suppliers, Todd, Mastpoint, PAST&DT, Stapleton, in the sea, Dubai, Ridsdale, £1 buyout, Pasoti, fans, Greenishugh, Kagami, Japan, Irish Consortium, winding up petition again, unpaid heating bill, Peter Reid, Carl Fletcher, Romain Larrieu, waifs, strays, loanees, youth, HMRC, winding up petition yet again, secret High Court date, administration, fans, Brendan Guilfoyle, David Hinchliffe, CVA, Ed Moore, Chris Errington, Preferred Bidder, 10 points deducted, relegation, Greens On Screen, fans, Sue Pollard, donations, buckets, Green Taverners, Nikk, Fan Fests, AFT, Jim Benton Evans, Lee Jameson, Peter Ryan, Brighton, Fans Reunited, Lombard, speeches, Chris Webb, auctions, Ian Newell, Contingency Group, Peter Jones, Graham Clark, John Petrie , Matt Slater, fans, vigil, candles, pizzas, pasties, premature- champagne, PCC, Vivien Pengelly, Jamie Yabsley, Civic Centre, Holiday Inn, Kevin Heaney, Guildhall, Pavilions, Paul Buttivant, Bishop International, PAFC125, no kit, Shrewsbury – Fletch top corner get in, GASB, PASB, Firoz Kassam, James Brent, Akkeron, 500 signatures in record time, Green Pilgrim, Greg Clarke, Football League, leap of faith, golden share, fans, staff, players, saved!

Now five years later the club is not only surviving but prospering on and off the pitch.
After the heartache of two play-off defeats the team is currently sitting proudly at the top of League Two thanks to the brilliance of manager Derek Adams.

On the financial side the club is making a profit and is clear of the £3.64 million debt of the so-called balloon payment and the Home Park saga has turned full circle with James Brent and his directors recently purchasing the freehold of the stadium back from Plymouth City Council.

Promotion this season would be the icing on the Resurgam cake.