ARGYLE are saying 'goodbye' to the Greens' green grass of Home Park, thanks to Capital One.
As the Green Army knows, successive managers have fought an ongoing battle against our green home kit's clash with the green of the sacred home turf - now, thanks to Football League sponsors Capital One, we have taken steps to overcome the problem.
After much deliberation, the Board decided to change the colour of the Home Park pitch to orange - or tangergreen, if you will - and approached Capital One in light of their successful “Grounds for Improvement” programme which ran throughout the UK and helped 11 grassroots clubs improve their facilities.
Capital One, credit card company and Football League sponsor, funded the full cost of painting the pitch and of maintaining its orange hue until the end of next season. The Grounds For Improvement-winning club, to be announced shortly, will be granted £75,000 to make other ground improvements at their club, with 10 runners up receiving £5,000.
Argyle’s Chief Executive Martyn Starnes said: "We’ve been aware for a while now that our players are struggling to see each other during a game as their shirts are merging with the pitch.
"We had a board meeting last week to discuss this and finally decided that changing the colour of the pitch was the only option.
“We double-checked it with the Football League and they confirmed that we could go ahead. They gave us the green light, as it were - and put us in touch with Capital One."
Groundsman Billy White and his assistant Mark Chenery led a team of six people who took seven hours to completely change the colour of the Home Park pitch using special spray-paint machines.
Billy said: "It’s a new one to me, but I think it’s a great idea.
“We’ve been working hard to get it done since we got the green light and now, hopefully we will get a nice home advantage.”
We have just three home games out of our seven remaining fixtures this season and are four points off the play-off spots, but with a game in hand. The pitch colour-change could be the edge we need for a potential promotion.
Argyle midfielder Luke Young said: "The lads have been chatting in the changing-room about this for a while so we’re delighted people are finally taking it seriously and now the gaffer's done something about it.
"We've already practiced on the new pitch, and we studied the ProZone stats and everything had improved. The passing was much sharper and the movement was better.”
A spokesperson from Capital One said: “As League Cup sponsor, we’re delighted that we could help Plymouth Argyle finally solve a problem that has been hindering their home performance.
“We were surprised to get the call, but Plymouth Argyle had heard about the work we’ve been doing for grassroots clubs in the UK through our "Grounds For Improvement" campaign and we were more than happy to help.
“The campaign has been an overwhelming success, with over 1,000 entries and 11 successful clubs, plus Plymouth Argyle, that have received grants to improve their facilities.”