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Argyle Trust reject Brent's offer to buy stake in club

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 22, 2013

James Brent will continue dialogue with the Plymouth Argyle Supporters' Trust picture: Paul Slater

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A leading supporters group say they remain committed to increasing the influence of fans at Plymouth Argyle.

The Argyle Fans' Trust are looking forward to a 'positive dialogue' with club owner and chairman James Brent, about the ways they can achieve that aim.

Their comments come after the Trust decided against taking up an offer from Brent to buy up to a 20 per cent stake in the Pilgrims.

That would have cost around £400,000 and the Trust felt it would have been 'irresponsible' to commit so much supporter time, energy and money to the pursuit of the offer.

Instead, they plan to propose a Golden Share Agreement, which would see the Trust have certain 'rights and powers' linked to it.

These could include, for example, the right to veto any future proposed change of team name, a new stadium or a significant alteration to team colours, and a certain level of access to club financial information.

The Trust consulted with their 1,170 members over Brent's offer to buy a 20 per cent stake of Argyle and out of 238 replies, 128 were in favour.

At only 11 per cent of the eligible membership, the Trust concluded there was not enough enthusiasm for the proposal.

A Trust spokesperson said: "We remain committed to strengthening the voice of supporters within the club and of achieving this through either a form of ownership or clauses written into the company articles.

"The current offer on the table from James Brent is not considered to be the best or most viable way of achieving this as it includes no influence, powers or presence on the club board.

"With this in mind we will now focus on exploring other options that have been put to both James Brent and our membership.

"We will seek to formulate a proposal outlining a way forward for supporter engagement with the club that would help safeguard the future of the club while also achieving the Trust's objectives.

"We look forward to a positive dialogue with James Brent as we seek to help him enshrine the principles of community, supporter interaction and sustainability, that we share, at the heart of our club."

The Trust will also be considering over the coming months whether a suitable project can be identified for a Community Share Scheme.

That would see the Trust work with Argyle and raise funds to provide a new facility for use by the club and the local community.

The Trust would welcome suggestions from their members, and plan to talk to other possible stakeholders, including Plymouth City Council.

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  • plymtel  |  January 22 2013, 8:17AM

    From a personally point of view and as a Argyle trust member I find committee members representing the trust are more busily preoccupied with their own agendas rather than the well being of Plymouth Argyle. Not once has the Argyle trust hierarchy openly voiced it dismay or concerns regarding the direction and way that Plymouth Argyle is being managed and that goes for others who have jumped on Mr Brent's Band Wagon. Why throw good money away so a few individual with big egos can strut around Home Park with no thought of their member concerns or the clubs pitifully position in the football league. Probably many fans like me would like to be Argyle share holders in our own right with a small share holding to enable each of us the real fans to voice our concerns to the board and to ensure that the club is properly run. It would be interesting if Mr Brent has backbone to implement such a scheme.

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