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Where does Argyle's future lie?

By Phil Tuckett
BBC Sport Interactive

Plymouth Argyle Board
Paul Stapleton (left) will stay on at Plymouth Argyle as vice-chairman

After months of internal wrangling, the men who will shape the future of Plymouth Argyle were finally revealed at a news conference on Thursday morning.

But for many seasoned Argyle observers the make-up of the new board came as a surprise.

Japanese businessman Yasuaki Kagami and his Kagami Shonan Management Corporation which includes American George Synan, had been tipped to secure a controlling interest in the club.

Instead, it was revealed that Kagami had formed a consortium with KKC, a company owned by Sir Roy Gardner and Keith Todd.

Kagami now has a 38% holding in the club, with KKC providing the extra 13% to give the consortium a controlling interest.

This is the fan's club. I'm here because I'm a fan of the football

Sir Roy Gardner

The Japanese businessman has been something of an elusive figure at Plymouth Argyle since his company first bought shares in April 2008, with Synan representing him on public occasions.

Somewhat understandably questions have been asked by fans about the motives of the Kagami Group in taking over the club.

The group which trades under the name KKShonan focuses on the consumer, property and leisure sectors.

Gardner, who is the only new board member to have previous football experience, told BBC Spotlight the consortium believes there is a "huge potential to exploit the footballing side" of the club.

He then went some way to reassure fans that the takeover was not simply a business venture.

"This is the fan's club. I'm here because I'm a fan of the football.

"But it is important that we generate additional revenue so we can fund player acquisitions in the future because we are going to create a five-year plan, which at the end of it will take us into the Premiership."

Money for new players is the number one priority for many Plymouth fans, with Karl Fletcher the only signing so far over the close season.

Lack of funds at Argyle is all the more prevalent in light of the club's struggle to stave off relegation last season, as they finished only one place above the drop zone.

The continued involvement of Paul Stapleton, Tony Wrathall and Robert Dennerly on the Argyle board and assurances that manager Paul Sturrock will stay, should go some way to easing both the concerns of fans about the takeover and the transition itself.


The consortium between Kagami and KKC has already given some clues about the plans for the future of the club ahead of publishing a five-year-plan by the end of the year.

Amongst the proposals suggested are heightened links with football clubs in both the USA and Japan, finishing the development of Home Park and establishing a youth academy.

Such plans will be welcomed by the majority of fans, but assurances of more money and stability are what most Pilgrims really want.

It took a long time in coming, but a new chapter has finally begun at Home Park, the content of which is still largely unknown.

What we do know is that it is going to be an interesting few months for the Greens.

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see also
Consortium takes over at Plymouth
02 Jul 09 |  Plymouth
Gill resigns as Argyle director
23 Jun 09 |  Plymouth
Pilgrims takeover talks continue
01 Jun 09 |  Plymouth
Sturrock puts faith in Fletcher
12 Jun 09 |  Plymouth
Argyle appoint Japanese president
20 Jun 08 |  Plymouth

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