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Derek's Praise for James' Tenure

16 August 2018

DEREK Adams is sad that James Brent is standing down as Argyle chairman.

James announced this week that he is stepping down at the end of October after seven years as chairman and just over three years of working with Pilgrims manager Derek.

“[It is] a great sadness to see that the chairman has decided to step down,” he said: “He’s been extremely helpful, and he’s been a chairman that has been strong in a way that has allowed me to get on with my job, which I’ve enjoyed.

“For this football club, he’s been an excellent chairman over the last seven years; we’ve come out of administration, and we’ve improved, year on year, on and off the pitch.

“He’s allowed me to do the job that I was brought in to do, the way I want to do it, the way I was allowed to do it at my previous club at Ross County, and that doesn’t happen very often in the modern era.

“A number of weeks ago, when he told me what was happening, I was disappointed, and he was disappointed, but it was going to happen.”

James has been chairman of Argyle since October 2011, saving the club from financial ruin and appointing Derek Adams as manager in 2015.

Asked what he thought of James’ decision to step down, Derek said: “It’s a decision that he feels that he wants to take, and I can’t say if he’s taken the right decision or the wrong decision, but it’s a decision that he feels is right for him.

“He said, when he first came into the job, he would be here for a period of time, and that period of time has now finished.”

A new era of ownership is now on the horizon for Argyle, with lifelong supporter Pilgrim Simon Hallett becoming majority shareholder and appointing former director and ex-Waitrose managing director David Felwick as the club’s chairman. Simon, who had contributed an initial £4.1m towards Argyle’s refurbishment of the Mayflower Stand, has since invested a further £3.25m to cover additional costs of the build.

Derek said: “Simon's been at Board meetings on a regular basis, either on the telephone or here at the meetings. David was obviously on the board before, and now he’s become chairman, and I’m due to have dinner with him in a few weeks’ time, to sit down and talk things through.

“Some chairmen can come in and have new ideas but, until you speak to them, you don’t know. There has been a lot of change around the football club since I’ve come here, personnel changes, and that’s not just on the football field, it’s off the field as well.”

However, Adams only had positives to draw regarding his experience under Brent’s tenure, and the confidence that the chairman had invested in him when he first joined the club.

When asked if he felt he had repaid James' trust, he said: “You could look at it that way, but you could look at it another way in that James Brent was very astute and had done a lot of homework before I came here.

“I’d obviously worked up in Scotland under financial constraints and then I’ve come here and done exactly the same. From that point of view, we haven’t spent a lot of money and we’ve been able to get ourselves out of League Two into League One.”

“He’s been a very good chairman for this football club over the last seven years, himself and the others who took the club out of administration and put them back on sound footing.

“I think he’s going to be remembered as a chairman who helped the football club get back on its feet.”


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