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Page last updated at 13:23 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 14:23 UK

Plymouth Argyle board defiant despite relegation

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Relegation has not changed Plymouth Argyle's target of reaching the Premier League within the next five years.

Hours after relegation from the Championship was confirmed, the club board said it remained determined to steer the Pilgrims to the top flight.

An official statement also confirmed stadium redevelopment would continue.

The board continued: "We are enthused by a largely young squad which we believe will grow together and become a real force."

The club said the principles of a five year plan announced in December - "To achieve Premier League Football within five years, and to build the local fan-base in Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall and, in addition, an international fan-base initially focussed on Japan and USA" - remained unchanged.

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Accusations that the club's bid to host World Cup matches in 2018 had distracted the club's focus from matters on the field were rejected.

The statement said: "We have always viewed the World Cup in the context of it being a great asset for Plymouth Argyle, if we pull it off.

"But it has not distracted us in terms of what has happened on the pitch, or the coaching."

Fears that relegation will also put the brakes on the redevelopment of Home Park were also addressed. The statement said further building is still expected to get underway next year.

"A new stadium is an essential part of our forward planning and reflects the scale of ambition at the club.

Argyle fans 'gutted' by relegation

"We expect to start redeveloping the stadium, beginning with replacement of the old South Stand, at the end of next season."

With speculation already mounting that several of Argyle's first team players will leave the club during the close season, the board pointed to the clutch of young players on whom they hope to rebuild the team.

"We are enthused by a largely young squad which we believe will grow together and become a real force. The likes of Kari Arnason, Yala Bolasie, Reda Johnson, Bondz N'Gala, Onismor Bhasera, Yala Bolasie, Craig Noone, Ryan Leonard and Joe Mason are in their teens or 20s and are exciting prospects."



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see also
Pilgrims arrive in unpromised land
21 Apr 10 |  Plymouth
Campbell 'angry' after relegation
21 Apr 10 |  Plymouth
Plymouth may bolster squad - Todd
24 Dec 09 |  Plymouth
Milton Keynes picked for 2018 bid
16 Dec 09 |  Internationals
Plymouth 0-2 Newcastle
19 Apr 10 |  Championship
Mariner wants to stay at Plymouth
16 Apr 10 |  Plymouth
Watford 1-0 Plymouth
10 Apr 10 |  Championship


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