Plymouth Argyle: Owner Simon Hallett pledges one final cash injection – BBC Sport

Simon Hallett is a lifelong Plymouth Argyle fan

Plymouth Argyle owner Simon Hallett says he will give one last “substantial amount” of money to the club to see it through the Covid-19 pandemic.

But the United States-based businessman says he will not give any more money to the League Two Pilgrims in future.

Hallett first joined the board in 2016 and has invested more than £6m since.

“The cash that I am putting in this time will, however, be the last such injection from me,” he said in a statement on the club website.

“We are already thinking about further ways to reduce our cost base to overcome the short-term difficulties, and, once this crisis is over, we will need to be more reliant on the investments we’ve already made to generate the resources needed to achieve our longer-term goals.

“This cash will be used to protect Argyle from some of the bad financial outcomes that we think may happen in the absence of financial support for EFL clubs from some other party.”

Having initially invested £500,000 and taken on £650,000 of debt when he first joined the board in May 2016, Hallett has since written off a £4m loan and put in £1.5m to help complete work on Home Park’s new Mayflower Stand in November last year.

The lifelong Argyle supporter says it is impossible to have a business plan as the club do not know what league they will play in next season or when crowds will be allowed back.

The English Football League postponed all games in mid-March and there are still questions on the financial future of clubs if supporters are not allowed into games due to social distancing measures.

League Two sides have indicated their intention to end the season immediately. The Pilgrims are set to be promoted to League One after finishing in third on average points per game, the EFL’s preferred method of deciding promotion.

‘Tough times ahead’

Plymouth have yet to release their retained list, but will do so ‘shortly’.

But Hallett said any new deals for players will be affected by their new financial reality.

“Players must accept that tough times are ahead,” he added.

“Argyle has honoured all of its contracts and will continue to do so, but new contracts will look different from those in the past and will provide for as many different scenarios over the next year as possible.

“It would be irresponsible and threaten the survival of the club if we were to promise to make payments to players (or anyone else) over a period when we simply do not know when you, our fans, can buy the tickets, the pasties, the drinks, the programmes, and the replica shirts that help to provide the money for those payments.

“The club’s management and staff must continue to make sure that every penny is always spent wisely in ways that help to protect us from financial disaster and secure our continued existence – not only as an aspirational football club, but also an asset for the community.

“This injection is not for spending on items that would be nice to have in different circumstances. We must adapt to the world we are in, not be driven by the world for which we hope. We are all in this crisis together, and our spending must reflect that.”

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