2020 Visions

WHEN Argyle’s chief executive attends the club’s Thursday Press call, which normally concerns itself solely with the Pilgrims’ forthcoming Saturday game...

...it is a fair indication that something out of the ordinary might happen.

The expectation is naturally heightened when the Argyle Twitter account relays the news of Martyn Starnes’ impending gatecrashing of manager Derek Adams’ traditional domain with the hashtag ‘#goodnews’.

Believe the hype. The assembled Press, having arrived at Home Park thinking they were going to hear about nothing more than Derek’s plans for the 2016-17 Sky Bet League Two or the state of Karleigh Osborne’s quad, were told that the Argyle gaffer had agreed a new long-term deal with the club.  

His previous contract, signed on June 11 last year and scheduled to expire in a year’s time, had been shred in favour of a deal that will not conclude until the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, in 2020.

Appropriately, Martyn and Derek spoke of a shared vision.

“Derek and his team have done a fantastic job here in the year they have been with the club,” said Martyn, “and I, personally, am looking forward to working with them over the next few years to try to get this club to where we want it to be.

“It is really good news that we have been able to sign Derek to this extended contract. Derek and his team have done really, really well and we hope that will continue.”

Derek said: “The football club wants to get back to where it belongs. I’m trying to put the platform in place to get it there. It takes time.

“I’m at the football club to help the football club out. We’re together as a partnership. The chairman and the Board of Directors, the supporters, the players – we’re all in it together to move forward and that’s what we’ll continue to do.”

Inevitably, the question of how far forward the vision extended. The Championship has often been mentioned as a healthy Argyle’s natural home. 

“Financially, today, that is impossible,” said Derek. “Over the long term, we have to try to get there but our main purpose it to try to get us out of the division we are in and then take it from there.
“It’s a long process and it is going to be a process we will have to work together with.

“I’ve worked well with the chairman, the chief executive and the Board of Directors since I came here. They have listened to what I have had to say in trying to improve the football club. We have improved the training ground, which we will be back on very shortly, and the stadium pitch is getting improvement.”

Derek’s lieutenants Craig Brewster and Paul Wotton will also be offered new deals (“They are part of my team and I want them to stay here"). If talks progress as smoothly as Derek’s discussions did, there will be more #goodnews sooner, rather than later.

“It was very quick,” he said. “There wasn’t much to be discussed. I think I’ve been quite easy to deal with to move things forward.

“Nothing has changed from the contract I have signed before. The terms are very similar. All I have given the football club, and they have given me, is a wee bit of support both ways.”