A Message from CEO Andrew Parkinson
Following the Greens' 4-2 Sky Bet League One victory over Cheltenham Town on Saturday, Argyle Chief Executive Officer Andrew Parkinson has penned a message of thanks to the Green Army as we approach the final few months of a thrilling 22/23 campaign.
With the schedule enforcing a two-week break, and having enjoyed a fantastic win in front of another sell-out crowd on Saturday, now is an appropriate opportunity for me to express how grateful everyone at the club is for your magnificent support.
With a little under half of the season remaining, we find ourselves in an enviable position, with a thrilling race for promotion and a Papa Johns Trophy semi-final to look forward to.
This is a remarkable achievement, and much credit must go to everyone at the club for their efforts so far. Every person I speak to at the moment seems to remark on the buzz around Argyle, and there is a tremendous feeling of excitement in the city. We are very proud of that, but there is a long way to go – and everyone at the club is focused on pushing on to achieve our ambition.
We have spoken over a number of years about our aspiration to become a sustainable Championship club – that target runs through every department at Home Park. For many of our supporters, the main indicator of our progress against that objective is our fortunes on the field, but that is just one piece of the overall outlook for the club.
You will note from our most recently published accounts that 21/22 was a record revenue year for Argyle, and, midway through this season, we are in a position where there is the potential to surpass that in 22/23. This is vital for a club like us, because financial (and environmental) sustainability is the aim. We know from our relatively recent past what can happen when a club is financially mismanaged, and we won’t go there again.
Increased revenues, a clear plan and additional external investment have allowed us to make strong progress against our target of building a successful and sustainable operation, with infrastructure to match. The recent acquisition of the Goals site allows us to expand our Argyle footprint to include the new facility and Home Park and provide much-needed facilities for both football and administrative staff.
The increase in revenues - driven in large part by the dedication of our supporters – has also allowed us to provide substantial support to our football staff in the January transfer window.
It has been noted by fans and media alike that we have spent fees in the transfer market in a concerted manner not seen at Argyle since the club was last in the Championship. While this is an evolution of our approach, it is not a deviation from our long-held values and philosophy as a club - and has only been possible as a result of incredible support from the Green Army.
Across the board, the club’s revenues have allowed us to be in a position to spend fees. Record sales of replica kits and merchandise, incredible attendance figures (nine sell-outs in 14 home league games in 22/23), the highest number of season-ticket holders on club record, Argyle TV subscriptions, and sign-ups to our new membership scheme, Evergreen, have all contributed significantly to our ability to compete in the market.
On the commercial and hospitality side of the club, we are fully booked week-to-week within Club Argyle and have begun regularly offering off-site hospitality to meet demand. Meanwhile, our conferencing and events offering is ensuring the Home Park facilities are utilised throughout the week, and partnership interest has never been higher.
Argyle has also become an attractive proposition for players, thanks to the vibrancy and culture of the club, the quality of the coaching, and the philosophy of our football.
The commitment of supporters to back the project at Argyle and drive revenues to unprecedented levels has allowed us to make measured and sustainable increases to the playing budget, just as we had promised we would when we took the difficult decision to raise season-ticket prices in the summer. The recruitment team have identified and secured their targets early in the window, using data to acquire a profile of players who we feel will not only contribute to the run-in but, crucially, grow alongside the club. We have strength in depth, and, whatever happens between now and May, we have left no stone unturned in the pursuit of our ambitions.
There are, of course, huge on-field benefits to your support, not just financial. The vocal and passionate support of the Green Army has played a big part in our home form – with Home Park once again becoming as difficult an environment for away teams to visit as any other at this level. Away from home, the dramatic result at Ipswich Town last weekend saw us draw equal to a club record 12 league games unbeaten on the road. I am sure I speak for all of us when I say that we would not be where we are without you.
Together – and I firmly include the supporters in this effort – we are building Argyle into a club, and organisation, that proudly represents the people of Plymouth, Devon, Cornwall, and the South West.
Thanks to the support of the Argyle Community Trust and our long-standing partner, Ginsters, we have launched Project 35, and the generosity of the wider community has seen thousands of meals provided to those who need a hand in these challenging times. Alongside our activity in the community, our ongoing work to make Home Park and Argyle in general more environmentally sustainable has not gone unnoticed, and winning sustainability and corporate social responsibility awards in these fields over the past 12 months is testament to our commitment to living our values.
The next few months are going to be a huge challenge, but the club is as prepared as it can possibly be for what lies ahead.
We are going to need your support, not only in the promotion fight, but also in the Papa Johns Trophy, where we are just one game away from what would be the club’s third trip to Wembley Stadium.
Thank you for everything you have given to the club this season. Let’s look forward to the run-in with excitement and anticipation.
With best wishes,