Plymouth Argyle chairman says promotion does not change financial uncertainty

    Simon Hallett speaks to Radio Plymouth, following the club's promotion to Sky Bet League One

    The chairman of Plymouth Argyle says he initially did not feel happy about the club's promotion.

    Yesterday (June 9th) it was officially confirmed that the Pilgrims are moving up to League One.

    Simon Hallett told Radio Plymouth that it is not the way that he would have liked to see the team advance:

    "I'm happy about it - I say that with some hesitancy because when it became very clear that we were going to be promoted, I didn't feel terribly happy about it.

    "I think the mood of the whole country isn't terribly celebratory. It's not the way in an ideal world that we'd like to get promoted, and I didn't think I'd be as happy as I do feel!

    "It's partly the response we've had from the fans since it went official, but I feel better about it than I thought I was going to feel.

    Argyle fans celebrated yesterday as the club announced the good news but the promotion means that club expenses will increase, and Hallett says he can't give any good news about finances:

    "Football clubs are always on a tight rope. 

    "They tend to be run so that revenues, at best, match expenses, and more normal is for expenses to exceed revenues and for clubs to make losses. Argyle's goal is for the two to match but it's always a tightrope.

    "Much more important than the league we're playing in is whether we'll be playing behind closed doors, and one of the reasons I'll be putting more money in is to make sure Argyle can survive that period in case it comes to that.

    "I think the money that I'm putting in now will provide enough cushion that Argyle will be in a relatively strong position, the issue is whether football in League One and Two can get back to generating revenues for the clubs who are playing.

    "The position remains extremely serious and the fact that we're in League One doesn't change that at all."

    The future still remains uncertain as to when the new season can start and the Pilgrims are already thinking about other ways of generating revenues if they have to play behind closed doors.

    Hallett says they are driven by what happens with the virus and what they are allowed to do by the Government, but it means that a proper business plan cannot be implemented whilst the future is so uncertain: 

    "The range of possible outcomes are so wide that it's impossible to have anything firm in place.

    "The next steps will be to think about player contracts. We've already given guidance to Ryan and team about that and the budget for next year.

    "It's going to be a market place that changes constantly. Not all clubs are going to be in a position to be able to offer new contracts.

    "We don't know when the season's going to start, so you're going to be offering contracts without the ability to guarantee revenues to be able to honour them.

    "The EFL will be looking at proposals for salary caps. We don't know if they're going to be imposed next year and we don't know exactly what they're going to be.

    "We've got a little bit of inkling about the levels of expenditure that's going to be allowed and how they're going to operate, but we don't have any firm details.

    "So I'm afraid that the board and the management at Argyle are operating very much in the dark.

    "The confirmation of promotion changes the division we're in but it doesn't change the massive uncertainty about the financial outlook for the next 6-12 months."

    LISTEN: Argyle chairman Simon Hallett speaks to Radio Plymouth's Gavin Marshall:

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