BBC BLOGS - Matt Slater

Archives for December 2011

The precarious position of clubs in administration

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Matt Slater | 14:54 UK time, Friday, 23 December 2011

Over the last few years, Brendan Guilfoyle has been called a hero and a liar, a saviour and a crook. Lauded in Luton, praised at Palace, the affable accountant is a pariah in Plymouth.

And it is this most recent experience - his stint as Plymouth Argyle's administrator - that has caused Guilfoyle to have a Jerry Maguire moment.

Fellow devotees of the film will recall the "mission statement" the sports agent tapped out during a crisis of conscience: his agency needed to be more honest and personal, which could only be achieved with fewer clients. His colleagues said they loved it to his face, while they engineered his exit behind his back.

This week, Guilfoyle published a blog titled "Football clubs - are they businesses worth saving?" The product of a Plymouth "post-mortem", it finishes with a set of promises for how football insolvencies should go in future. It is coherent, sensible and completely unworkable, a point Guilfoyle acknowledged with a wistful chuckle when I pointed it out.

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