Varsity Withdrawal

IT is with regret that the club has taken the decision to withdraw from hosting this year’s annual Varsity football matches between the University of Plymouth and Plymouth Marjon University, which were scheduled to take place on Monday, March 16.

As a community-centred club, we look forward to hosting the competition between the two institutions each year, and value the relationship with both universities. However, the decision was taken to preserve the integrity of the playing surface ahead of the Pilgrims’ crucial Sky Bet League Two run-in.

February 2020 was the wettest on record in the UK, and, despite the outstanding work of the Home Park grounds team, a heavy fixture schedule has had its impact on the pitch. With the season now reaching ancrucial finale for the first-team, it is absolutely vital that the surface is allowed time to recover between matches, which necessitates the decision.

“We always look forward to hosting the men’s and women’s Varsity football matches,” said Argyle chief executive Andrew Parkinson. “However, the heavy winter rain, coupled with a congested fixture schedule, has forced us to make the difficult decision with our league season now reaching an exciting conclusion.

“We are grateful for both universities’ understanding and look forward to hosting their Varsity competition in 2021.”

A joint statement from the University of Plymouth and Plymouth Marjon University said: “We are disappointed not to be playing at Home Park this year but are completely understanding and supportive of the decision. We wish Argyle all the best in their promotion push and look forward to playing there again in 2021.”