Football League Daily – Plymouth takeover imminent as relegation fears mount

As the curtain begins to fall on a miserable season for Plymouth Argyle, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel with regards to their financial woes. After a season which has seen the club enter administration and the resultant 10 point deduction plunging them into a fight against relegation to League 2, a takeover looks imminent following the news that a bid has been submitted by a Surrey businessman.

The BBC Sport website has reported that Paul Buttivant is the head of a consortium which has placed a bid for the debt-ridden club. The administrators are understood to be looking into the bid further, before making a decision on the future of the club. The Buttivant Group is up against rival bids from an Irish consortium, who spoke to administrator Brendan Guilfoyle two weeks ago and whose bid may hinge on whether they are allowed to develop the area around the club’s Home Park ground, and a bid from a Devon hotelier, James Brent and his Akkeron group. The Pilgrims are currently £17.7m, in debt and the clubs players have not been paid by the club since December, with the PFA loaning the club the money to pay the outstanding wages.

Plymouth face three games to save their League One status and currently sit three points adrift of safety. Argyle take on Exeter on Saturday before a potentially pivotal clash against Southampton, a side Argyle beat on the opening day of the season, before the financial problems ruined their season.

Whilst Argyle attempt to avoid the drop, the one side who have had their relegation confirmed parted company with their manager. 24 hours after Swindon Town Chairman Andrew Fitton resigned, manager Paul Hart has also left the Wiltshire club. Hart himself only took over in March, but could only earn one win in his 11 games in charge. Following talks with interim chairman, Jeremy Wray, both Hart and his assistant Ian McParland left their positions. Swindon have appointed Paul Bodin, the club’s former full-back, for the clubs last two games of the season against Oldham Athletic and Tranmere Rovers.

Bodin was not the only manager appointed on Thursday, with Andy Thorn taking the reins permanently at Coventry City. The former Wimbledon and Crystal Palace centre-back was named caretaker at the Ricoh Arena following the dismissal of Aidy Boothroyd. Since taking over, Thorn has guided the Sky Blues to Championship safety, suffering just one defeat in his eight games in charge. Thorn, speaking to the clubs official website following the announcement of his appointment said: “I have had really good backing from the players, excellent support from the chairman, the board and the supporters and I want to ensure that I justify the confidence they have shown in me by offering me the job on a permanent basis.

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