James Brent aims to make Plymouth Argyle financially secure

Plymouth Argyle owner James Brent wants to invest in the club's infrastructure to help it become a viable business.

Brent took over Argyle last year after it went into administration having suffered financial problems.

He says he wants to redevelop the club's main grandstand with conference facilities.

"The legacy for the club is to build a new grandstand that isn't just a grandstand but has facilities in there that will generate an income," he said.

"We'd like to see the club endowed with assets that will create a cash flow that will compliment the football cash flows," he added to BBC Spotlight.

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It may very well be that the club has the potential to get into the Premiership...

James Brent Plymouth Argyle owner

Brent cited Exeter Chiefs rugby club as a model he would like to follow.

The Chiefs' Sandy Park ground is also a major conference venue, ensuring the club has a large income outside matches. And due to its success, the Premiership side are now looking to try and expand the stadium.

"One of the dangers of a sugar-daddy dependency is that clearly when the sugar-daddy dies or when the sugar-daddy loses his sugar, you've suddenly got an event that creates a life-threatening event for the football club.

"If you create a cash flow that attaches to the football club then that continues regardless of it."

Following the club's descent into administration, Argyle saw many of their first-team squad depart in the summer, leaving Plymouth to start the season with mainly youth team players.

It led them to being cast adrift at the bottom of League two, but since Brent's takeover investment has come into the playing squad and the club are now two places above the relegation zone.

Brent also helped bolster the club's squad in January, with the likes of former skipper Paul Wotton and strikers Juvhel Tsoumou and Alex MacDonald joining the club.

JAMES BRENT

  • Former banker and director of investment firm Schroders
  • Founded investment firm Akkeron Group in 2008
  • Launches Akkeron Hotels in 2009
  • Takes over Plymouth Argyle in October 2011

And although he admits that Argyle's wage bill is high by League Two standards, Brent remains hopeful that the club will be able to bring it in check come the summer.

"We have a player wage bill at the moment which is towards the top end of League Two clubs and is higher than a number of League One clubs.

"The issue that we face is that some of those wages are allocated to players who aren't even with us any more, but the good news is that most of that comes off at the end of the season so that frees up further resources.

"But the player budget we have, there's nothing wrong with that to take this club safely into League One."

And Brent says he is impressed by how another of Argyle's Devon neighbours, Torquay United, have fared this season.

The Gulls are in the League Two play-off places and beat Argyle home and away in the League for the first time in more than 30 years this season.

"They've achieved the top of League Two with a budget that's a fraction of ours and they've achieved that with good management both at a football level and the club level. We've got to do the same, but to a larger scale."

But Brent's aspirations do not stop at taking the club out of League Two.

The hotelier and former banker says he feels that the club can get back into the Championship, and perhaps even push onto the Premier League.

"If Torquay can get to the top of League Two with the fan base that it has, and to do that in a financially sound and measured fashion, to say that Argyle, with a fan base that's probably three or four times the size, can't get to the top of League One and through to the Championship without going bust defies belief.

"If you get into the Championship there's a massive financial step up into the Premier League.

"It may very well be that the club has the potential to get into the Premier League and we're not the right owners to do that - if there's a better owner that can lead the aspirations of the club to get into the Premier League we'd respect that and pass the baton," he said.