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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Plymouth Chairman Praises Holloway

Plymouth Official Site - CHAIRMAN'S OLLIE TRIBUTE
PLYMOUTH Argyle chairman Paul Stapleton paid tribute to manager Ian Holloway as the Pilgrims' manager prepared to return to former club Queens Park Rangers.
Stapleton appointed Holloway as successor to Tony Pulis last summer following the Argyle boss's acrimonious departure from Loftus Road, where the Pilgrims play QPR this Saturday.
The Argyle chairman called the appointment "an excellent choice", praised Holloway for the new players he has brought to Home Park, and said that his management style has lifted the whole club.
Stapleton made his remarks in his introduction to the club's Annual Report and Accounts for 2006, which were published on Saturday.

"Ian Holloway has proved to be an excellent choice," said Stapleton. "He is fully committed to the cause of the Green Army and helping us push Plymouth Argyle as high as we can.
"His signings have all seemed to be astute, whilst his infectious nature and enthusiasm has touched everyone. We hope he is with us for a long time."

Holloway took over from Pulis, who had managed the club to a healthy 14th place in the Coca-Cola Championship in the 2005-06 season after replacing Bobby Williamson early in the campaign.
That restructuring of the management staff and Pulis's subsequent changes to the playing staff saw the club report a small loss in 2006 - their first for six years - a state of affairs predicted by Stapleton at last year's Annual General Meeting.
However, the loss, of just over £300,000 after tax, pales in comparison to the £1.1m profit made the previous season.
"We were prepared to spend some of the money earned in the previous period to ensure the retention of our Championship status," said Stapleton.
"It is true to say that the cost of replacing the manager [Williamson] and his backroom staff, and several of the players he had signed, resulted in significant increased costs.
"In addition, we supported Tony Pulis with loan signings, all of good quality and higher costs."
Stapleton recognises that some supporters had "complaints about the quality and style" of Pulis's football and hopes the subsequent appointment of Holloway will continue to bring back missing supporters.
"Our attendance dropped by approximately 15% from the previous year, when we had our first year in the Championship," he said.
"It is possible the novelty of seeing teams we had not played for 13 years has started to wear off.
"However, I am hopeful that, with the attractive football being played now, our supporters will continue to push us on even further."
Stapleton's statement also addresses the purchase of the Home Park freehold from Plymouth City Council, which happened subsequent to the accounts year.
"Owning our own ground means that, for the first time in the club's history, we are in complete control of our own destiny," said Stapleton.
"The terms of our lease meant that our rent became more onerous as the business became more successful - as our turnover increased, so would the rent payable - and, if we reached the Premier League, then the percentage charged would also increase.
"Therefore, our decision was made on sound financial grounds to acquire the freehold for the long-term benefit of the club.

"Unfortunately, this process took an inordinate amount of time to conclude, which was impossible to predict at the outset.

"This delay has subsequently prevented us from being able to progress other areas of the business as quickly as we would have hoped, but we are now looking to resolve a number of issues caused by the delay as a matter of urgency."

Stapleton concludes his remarks: "We are proud of our progression and we feel we have the right to sit proudly as the top club in the South West of England, and as a well-established Championship football club." Plymouth

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