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May 2, 2010
Chapter 1.
30th April 2011.
St James Park- Exeter City v Plymouth Argyle.

"What a load of flipping cack"
"Patterson at right wing? Terrible."
"Another ***** referee"

It wasn't just an average match for anybody concerned. The Devon Derby was always something special to the Green Army. From Buster Phillips last minute goal at St James Park in 2001, to Bradley Wright-Phillips double 9 years later, this game had something about it. Every derby is of vital importance to player, fan manager but it didn't get bigger than this one down in Devon. It was judgement day for us. It was our biggest game of the season, it was the must-win derby. After being docked 10 points, relegation into the Football League's bottom division seemed certain. But Peter Reid was trying to work something special, and the scenes at MK Dons last Monday was something I'll never forget. There was a real belief we could pull off a Great Escape, even though our players weren't getting a sniff of a pay-cheque. If we lost here, it was almost over. You felt if we didn't get at least a point, the relegation trap-door would pull us in on Monday. It was in some ways a relief we couldn't be relegated today, how humilating would it be if we were relegated against our biggest rivals? Even so, the pressure was on us.

It was my first visit to St James Park [Nicknamed, St Sids, by Argyle fans] and my god, what a shithole. Toilets dating back from the 15th century, a bruised food-stand which was past its sell-by-date and 1500 Argyle fans cramped into a small roofless, standing, away end. I remember my Dad telling me- And on the pitch, it wasn't much better. We were made to look second best for a majority of the match, and moments into the 2nd Half, we had the embarrasement of going a goal down. A goal down to a team who we looked down on while we were 4th in the Championship, as they struggled on in the conference. The team, who only pulled 3000 fans a week, who had **** support, 6 toes, a stadium falling to pieces.. Had we really sunk this low? We tried in vain to save ourselves. But as every single decision went against us, the frustration kicked in. We knew there was no coming back. For all the struggles off the pitch, and everything we had faced, this was almost just as bad. How had we fallen this far? Are we really now, the 2nd best team in Devon? As the full-time whistle blew, we all took one look at our surrondings. St Sids Park. 5000 Exeter Fans who would never forget the day, they took their crown as Devons Top Dog. Vera Lynn blasted out over the out-dated PA system, my thoughts were, will we really meet again? As survival on the pitch went down to Mondays match against Southampton, things off it looked so much worse.

A 20 minute walk back to the railway station, felt like centuries. The police stopping us at every oppurtunity, it felt like they rubbing salt in our wounds. We trudged along, listening the moans of supporters, every decision scrutinised by deep-down.. angry and embarrased fans. We were heading in one direction. Down the Football League, taking every embarrasing hit on the way. The joy we got from December's league win against 'The Scum' was gone. From there, it was down-hill. We had grazed our knee's down this hill, but now we've banged our heads. Could I really be supporting Devon's 2nd best team? I couldn't get my head around it.

As I took my seat on the train, I just wanted to try and forget all about it. I tried to fill myself with the hope 6 points from our remaining two fixtures would complete a magical great escape. It was around half past 3, I checked my phone.....

"For **** Sake!", I shouted across the carriage.

Everybody kind of stopped for a moment, and took a moment of their time to look at me.

"Dagenham and Walsall are ******* winning, what a **** day in this ******* shithole." Well that had really completed our day. Not only had we gone and lost to our biggest rivals, but the teams around us were really fighting for survival. At 15:33 on April 30th 2011, I knew we would be playing in League 2 next season. No great escape, no pitch invasion on the final day and no best team in the west. The chronic failure associated with this team was killing me. Knowing, had it not been for those devious 7 back-stabbing bar-stewards, we would of had our best players, had those 10 points, and maybe just maybe pushing for a playoff position. We would of had our club, we would of had our pride and our staff would have some pay.

The administration process had crippled us. Took us below the level of Exeter City. Made a joke of our once proud club. You may have won the battle Exeter, but one day, I don't know when, we'll be back to win the war. The statement was loud, the statement was clear- Whatever twists and turns that happen, whatever the Administrator wants to do us, whatever Exeter City have to say about us, and no matter how many relegations we get....

We are Plymouth Argyle, and we'll never die.

authors notes- Thanks for reading. Any comments on improvement etc, feel free to post. The actual game-play will start atfer Christmas, for now, just a small little introduction/build-up. Thanks!


May 2, 2010
Chapter 2
7th May 2011
Home Park- Plymouth Argyle v Leyton Orient. Full Time.

"The supporters were fantastic, it's just that we couldn't give them anything, we tried, but when you're down there you don't get the rub of the green."

If I could use only one word to sum up my feelings, that word would be proud. How many people say that after losing a home match 4-1, and already being relegated? I know everybody in Home Park was proud. Proud of the effort and commitment players, staff and manager went through this season, despite not recieving a pay-cheque, despite looking like the end could be nigh for Plymouth Argyle FC. We took it until matchday 45, and we can look back and say- Had 7 bar-stewards not messed this club around, we would of been playing League 1 football next season, and dare I say it... Possibly higher. Out there today was 11 heroes, and plenty more on the bench. Would Carlos Tevez go all these months without pay? I think not. And I suppose, thats what makes this football club special. Our ability to group together as one, to fight for a single cause- Keeping a club soon to be 125 years old, ticking along, and keeping the flame burning.

And never had a manager at Home Park been so adored since the days of Paul Sturrock's promotion winning campaign. Sir Peter Reid. What a top man. You wouldn't blame him for walking out when these troubles started, but he kept strong, and never once used all the off-the-field troubles as an excuse on the pitch. He was a top gentleman, it was clear for all too see. And on the pitch, we had the best captain in the country. Carl Fletcher. Rejected several Championship clubs to fight for the Green Army... And we ******* love him. But the biggest thanks of all has to go to the staff of the club. Normal people, living normal lives... But doing an extraordinary part, going out their way, to keep this club alive. We couldn't thank them more. They are fantastic, and always will be fantastic.

The final scenes of the 2010/2011 season will probably live with me forever. A season that started with such high hopes, such promise- Promotion talk, and a 1-0 win at Southampton. How did it end up like this? As Westlife was blasted out over the PA [You raiiseeeeee me upppppppp] myself, and everybody around me couldn't help but let a little tear drop. The unpayed players and staff took to an emotional lap of honour, with the message clear- This is OUR Club, and we'll do everything we can to keep it alive. Honestly, I was there when we celebrated promotion in 2004, but this felt so different. Gone were the days of a divided fan-base, gone were the days of every mis-placed pass being chorused with a boo, gone were the days of players only giving 20%. Everything we had gone through, it had made us stronger. It had made the players, green through and through. It had knitted the fan-base together, with one vision, one dream, one goal, one focus.

As I walked home that night, I wondered what the future might hold. The big picture was, we were still in administration, and the tangle went on. Would Brendan Guilfoyle go with Brent? Heaney? Ridsdale? Would a Arab Multi-Billionaire come along and make us the Man City of the Football League? Ok, maybe thats a little unrealistic, but you get my point. The main aim was I hope we could survive the Pre-Season. There was little income in the Pre-Season. No matches = No money. No fans coming through the gates, paying their £20, paying their £3 for a programme... It would be an uphill struggle. Nobody was prepared to let 124 years of history go down the train, not me, not anybody. We would give an arm and a leg to keep this football club alive. In years to come, I want to tell my Grandson, about days out at Wembley, Old Trafford, and Euro-Away Days. Not telling him "This is what you could of had..."

PASOTI was booming tonight. Plenty of threads, one thanking Peter Reid and the players. One thanking the staff. One asking to sum up the season in one word....

"****** Emotionally Draining"
"We'll be back!"
"Horrible, Awful & Terrible"

Just some of the examples. PASOTI was the main communication key for Argyle supporters. From the Fans Trust, to small-time rumours, EVERYTHING Argyle Related would be found here. The moment we went into Administration, every PASOTI user would know about it. The Argyle related discussion and banter, somedays it would make you laugh. Other days, it would make you think how thick some football fans are. But it was one thread, that at first I thought was some kind of sick joke, that caught my eye...


Looking at who posted the thread, it seemed very unlike him to be such a joker. I opened the thread expecting a witty OP, but **** ME. I opened a link to the official club website, what I read.. Was this some kind of practical joke? Was someone having a laugh? What kind of **** would do this?

"Its with great regret Plymouth Argyle FC announce the sacking of manager Peter Reid. We feel after relegation from nPower League 1, the team needs a fresh approach. Peter has been a loyal servant to the club, and his hard work in keeping the club alive will never be forgotten. Peter leaves with our best wishes, and we wish him the best of luck for the future."

Really? Only one man in British Football could back-stab like this... A man so devious, and so hated across football fans... Peter Ridsdale strikes again.

To be continued...