04 January 2011

Supporters supporting

300px-Plymouth_Argyle_FC.svg[1] PLYMOUTH Argyle fans are fighting to save the cash-strapped club's free 'football special' buses from the axe. Hundreds of supporters travel to Home Park on the Citybus services, which pick up and drop off in every corner of the city on matchdays. But the financially-stricken Pilgrims have been unable to pay some of their bills as a result of the cash crisis. The Herald reported last week how that has led to the Plymouth Argyle Supporters' Club picking up the tab for the free buses. But the Supporters' Club, which also paid for some matchday entertainment during the Devon derby against Exeter City last month, have warned their own finances are taking a hit. Chairman Keith Bulley is appealing to 'football special' passengers to donate £2 each – or as much as they can afford – to keep the service running.
Volunteers are also needed to carry collection buckets at the drop-off point near the Devonport End ahead of Argyle's meeting with Oldham Athletic on January 15. Mr Bulley said: "We have agreed with the club to bankroll two home matches – but we haven't got a bottomless pit. "It is about £790 a throw and we can't sustain that. "But we don't want to lose these buses, they are very important. Plymouth Citybus managing director Andrew Wickham declined to reveal the extent of Argyle's debt to the company. But he said: "Our intention is to continue running the 'football specials'. We are working with Plymouth Argyle and the Supporters' Club to keep the service going." The Pilgrims face almost certain liquidation in the High Court on February 9 unless they settle a £760,000 tax debt.

Bosses are desperately seeking fresh funding ahead of that date amid sweeping changes in the corridors of power at Home Park. The club, thought to be around £9million in debt, is trying to stave off other creditors.

Anybody willing to volunteer on January 15 – or wishing to donate – should call Mr Bulley on 07969 203138 or email 36keith@blueyonder.co.uk

Plymouth Citybus 419 PL51LGX


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