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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Plymouth Chairman on Appointing QPR's Holloway and Coaches, QPR's Ease of London Loans and Holloway's Transfers

Even now, 12 months later, the bitterness over the departure of former manager Tony Pulis still resurfaces when Plymouth Argyle chairman Paul Stapleton reflects on the events of last summer.Many fans would argue the Pilgrims are better off now with Ian Holloway as their boss than had Pulis stayed at the club....
Pulis had been sacked by Stoke in June 2005, when an Icelandic consortium owned the Potteries' club.
But when former City chairman Peter Coates completed a successful takeover last summer, it was always on the cards Pulis would be reunited with him at the Britannia Stadium....
But Pulis then made it clear he wanted to return to Stoke for a second spell and, after several weeks of speculation, a compensation package was settled upon....
Stapleton said: "It meant we could not start our search for a manager. Obviously, you can make preliminary inquiries but, legally, you can't really do too much."
However, two weeks after Pulis took over at Stoke, Argyle had appointed Holloway as his successor - one day before the start of pre-season training.
Holloway had been on 'gardening leave' at Queens Park Rangers after being suspended by their Italian chairman Gianni Paladini in February.
Paladini had supposedly taken that course of action after Holloway expressed an interest in the then managerial vacancy at Leicester City.
Stapleton spoke to Paladini about Holloway while they were at the Football League chairmen's conference in Portugal.
He said: "We talked to Gianni Paladini quite a bit, and to other clubs that had interviewed him (Holloway). Ipswich Town were one of them. "Ian was available and we were able to get him in the
day before pre-season training started.
"That was two weeks from when Tony Pulis left to when we actually got him down here, which wasn't too bad really."
One hurdle that had to be cleared before Holloway could start work for Argyle was the fact he was still an employee at QPR.
Stapleton said: "Ian had to be broken away from his contract, which we had to help with."
Holloway brought Des Bulpin with him as a coach but, otherwise, he inherited the backroom staff left behind by Pulis.
David Kemp, Mark O'Connor and Lindsay Parsons all remained on the payroll for a while.
Gradually though, albeit far too slowly for Holloway's liking, he was able to hire Gary Penrice as chief scout and Tim Breacker as assistant manager, with both arriving from QPR. Stapleton said: "When Ian turned up he was faced with David Kemp, Mark O'Connor and Lindsay Parsons.
"Stoke City had promised me they would take them but, when the crunch came, they stayed put, waiting to be paid off, which wasn't the spirit of the agreement with Stoke.
"The spirit of the agreement with Stoke was that if Tony wanted them they could go and the chairman (Coates) would employ them.
"It meant we had a few weeks - and months in some cases - of people working at the football club and doing their job but they weren't Ian's men.
"We managed to get Des Bulpin in pretty quickly, which really helped Ian a great deal.
"But it took a bit longer to get Tim Breacker and Gary Penrice because they were both contracted at QPR and didn't want to walk away from contracts which they were entitled to. We understood the situation."
Stapleton added: "I did offer Mark O'Connor a job with us because I thought he was a very good person to have on the team, but he actually then left to join Stoke."..
This is Plymouth


Plymouth Argyle chairman Paul Stapleton is convinced there is a 'good chance' Chelsea winger Scott Sinclair could return for another loan spell with the club next season. ....The possibility of Sinclair returning to Argyle will depend on whether he figures in the first team plans of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho next season.
If not, Argyle are sure to face strong competition as they try to bring Bath-born Sinclair back to Home Park.
Stapleton told Herald Sport: "As far as loans are concerned, it's very unusual to get players from Premiership clubs until August or September, when they have had their pre-season and things have settled down.
"Queens Park Rangers have got two loan players from Chelsea (Michael Mancienne and Jimmy Smith) already, so they are a bit ahead of the game.
"They had them last season and have arranged to keep them now.
"But they have only got them until Christmas because of the African Nations' Cup.

"People know the player (Sinclair) we had on loan was starting to break into the first team at Chelsea but was then injured.
"He has made a name for himself, and we hope to be in with a shout of getting him next season."
Stapleton added: "Everything we did for the lad, and for Chelsea, was done right so we have got a chance - a good chance I would think - but you just never know."
Sinclair recently returned to Plymouth to visit the landlady he stayed with while he was at Argyle.....
"There is one thing about Plymouth Argyle - we look after our loan players."
He continued: "QPR are sitting there laughing most of the time because they can pick up anybody from London clubs as they don't have to move house.
"We have always known we are out on a limb geographically. We can't help that - that's the way it is.
"So we have got to do what we can to make people feel at home." This is Plymouth

13 June 2007

Chairman Paul Stapleton has not ruled out Plymouth Argyle making further forays into the transfer market this summer.The Pilgrims have already paid out a combined £475,000 for Hungarian pair Peter Halmosi and Krisztian Timar, who both ended last season on loan with the Championship club.
Manager Ian Holloway has now spent more than £1.1 million in transfer fees during his 12 months at Home Park and has a squad of 26 players.
But the double signing of Halmosi and Timar could still be followed by other new recruits.
Stapleton told Herald Sport that Argyle's board of directors had always backed Holloway whenever he wanted to sign new recruits, and they would consider any more proposals put to them by the manager.
The Pilgrims' chairman also revealed offers totalling more than £1m were made for Oldham Athletic striker Chris Porter and Gillingham winger Matt Jarvis last season.
However, Porter did not want to move to Argyle while Gillingham refused to sell 20-year-old Jarvis, their most prized asset.
Porter scored 21 league goals for Oldham last term but they failed to secure promotion to the Championship after losing to Blackpool in the play-off semi-finals.
Stapleton said: "As a board, we have never turned Ian down on anything.
We made a £300,000 offer for Jarvis in November, which was rejected, and a £750,000 offer for Chris Porter in January.
"But the lad (Porter) was going to be out of contract this summer so, therefore, didn't want to move. And he thought Oldham would go up anyway.
"Now, while we have never once turned Ian down, that's not to say we won't ever turn him down. But I think Ian is sensible enough to realise that if you have got 26 pros I don't really fancy buying another one or two to put in the Grandstand - because we might need the seats!"
With Porter now out of contract, the 6ft 1in goalscorer has been linked with a move away from Oldham.
But as he is aged 23, the Latics would still be entitled to a compensatory transfer fee for him.
Whether Argyle will renew their interest in him remains to be seen, but they already have seven strikers on their books.
Stapleton believes the Pilgrims have a strong squad with Holloway having plenty of talented players to choose form.
He said: "We have got 26 professionals, which is certainly the most we have had in my time at the club. "I spoke to some clubs when I was in Portugal for the Football League chairmen's conference last week and they have only got 10 or 12 players.
"They are scrambling to get people in, but we are sitting back saying 'We could put out a team that would give anyone a good game'.
"You could pick a team that looks quite strong and leave some good players on the bench, and leave some good players in the Grandstand."
Stapleton revealed that, including agents' fees, Argyle had spent £1.3m on players in the past year.
He said: "I don't know if Plymouth Argyle has ever spent that amount in a year before.
"I know when (former chairman) Dan McCauley first came in, he got (Gary) Poole, (Steve) Castle and (Paul) Dalton, but I don't think that was over £1m.
"I think it was £800,000, and he sold (Marc) Edworthy around that sort of time. We haven't sold anybody. So, really, we have invested in the team and basically that's to show to Ian that we are willing to support him.
"In fact, the wages budget for last year was the highest it has been in the club's history."
Argyle have had rival clubs inquiring about some of their players this close season, but there have been no firm offers for any of them.
The Carling Cup first round draw will take place at 10am today. See The Herald website www.thisisplymouth.co.uk for details. This is Plymouth

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