League Two owner Simon Hallett says he can’t give the club anymore cash injections to see it through the coronavirus pandemic.
The Plymouth Argyle chairman, who is a life-long fan of the team and a US-based businessman recently gave one last “substantial amount” of money to help them through since the season was suspended.
It was in 2016 that Hallett first joined the board and has invested more than £6m since as well as help complete work on Home Park’s new Mayflower Stand in November last year.
He said in a statement on the club website: “The cash that I am putting in this time will, however, be the last such injection from me.
“We are already thinking about further ways to reduce our cost base to overcome the short-term difficulties, and, once this crisis is over, we will need to be more reliant on the investments we’ve already made to generate the resources needed to achieve our longer-term goals.
“This cash will be used to protect Argyle from some of the bad financial outcomes that we think may happen in the absence of financial support for EFL clubs from some other party.”
He initially invested £500,000 and paid £650,000 of debt when he first joined in May 2016, and since then written off a £4m loan and put in £1.5m to help finish the club’s newest stand.
He said it is impossible to have a business plan as the League Two side haven’t got any idea what division they will play in next season or when crowds will be allowed back.
Questions still need to be answered on the financial future of EFL clubs if supporters aren’t allowed into games due to social distancing measures.
League Two sides have indicated their intention to end the season immediately which would promote Argyle to League One after finishing in 3rd on average PPG (points per game), which is the EFL’s preferred method of deciding promotion.
Plymouth are to shortly release their retained list, but Hallett said any new deals for players will be affected by their new financial structure.
Since @SimonHallett‘s message to supporters earlier today, we have been inundated with pledges of support from the Green Army.💚
Staff are hard at work to bring some of your funding ideas to fruition.
— Plymouth Argyle FC (@Only1Argyle) June 3, 2020
He said: “Players must accept that tough times are ahead.
“Argyle has honoured all of its contracts and will continue to do so, but new contracts will look different from those in the past and will provide for as many different scenarios over the next year as possible.
“It would be irresponsible and threaten the survival of the club if we were to promise to make payments to players (or anyone else) over a period when we simply do not know when you, our fans, can buy the tickets, the pasties, the drinks, the programmes, and the replica shirts that help to provide the money for those payments.
“The club’s management and staff must continue to make sure that every penny is always spent wisely in ways that help to protect us from financial disaster and secure our continued existence – not only as an aspirational football club, but also an asset for the community.
“This injection is not for spending on items that would be nice to have in different circumstances. We must adapt to the world we are in, not be driven by the world for which we hope. We are all in this crisis together, and our spending must reflect that.”
After the League Two owner says he can’t give club anymore cash injections, fans took to thank him for his help and support.