MARTYN Starnes gave up life in the Championship because of the “wonderful future” he sees for Plymouth Argyle.The Pilgrims’ new chief executive, who was formally introduced to the Green Army on Monday, has moved to Home Park from Yeovil whose “fairy-tale” rise through the divisions sees them play in the second tier of English football for the first time this season.
Martyn has eschewed that to set his sights on playing his part – alongside Argyle chairman James Brent and his Board, and manager John Sheridan – in taking the Pilgrims from the depths of League 2 back to their Championship highs of the early part of the century.
“Plymouth has a great catchment area, a big supporter-base,” said Martyn, 58. “I think it has got a wonderful future and I have been given the opportunity to be part of it. I am absolutely delighted to be here.
“It is a fantastic club. I am aware, being a massive football fan generally, that Plymouth has had difficult times in recent years, going into administration.
“Recovering from that, I recognise, is difficult and James and the Board of Plymouth have presented me a rather unique opportunity to help to revitalise the club and move it back into the division it should be playing in, i.e. the Championship, and to do it with financial viability, which I am used to doing at Yeovil.”
Martyn, who has also been Chief Executive at Swindon – where he worked alongside living Argyle legend Paul Sturrock – admitted some sadness to be leaving Huish Park but was immediately focused on his responsibilities at Argyle
“It is a wrench to leave,” he said. “I have got a lot of friends amongst the staff and the supporters, and I hope to be able to generate the same thing here – to make friends with the staff and the supporters and get everybody moving in the right direction with a positive attitude and looking to reach the objective of getting the club initially into League 1.
“Last season was like a fairy-tale. It was a wonderful season. We had a tremendous achievement, getting promotion. We won the Family Excellence Award again, and won the Business of the Year Award.
“[But] you had to ask yourself the question: ‘How much further can we go with a club that size, with that fanbase?’”
Argyle Director David Felwick expressed the club’s pleasure that Martyn had agreed to fill a role at the club that had been high on the Board’s agenda since owner James Brent had rescued it from administration.
David said: “We were keen to attract an experienced and motivated chief executive to put another brick in the wall, as it were, to satisfy our ambition to get Plymouth Argyle promotion to the higher leagues.
“We’re delighted that Martyn has taken the time to consider us and decided to join us from Yeovil.”
The appointment of Martyn, who will also sit on the Argyle Board of Directors, will allow James to take s step back from some of the daily hands-on tasks at Home Park.
“Naturally, if you bring in a chief executive officer, his role is to run the club,” said David. “So that will take some of the day-to-day decisions off the shoulders of the chairman.
“But James will stay very close to the CEO and the decisions that are made.”
Click here to see the full interview with Martyn and here for the full lowdown with David.