Plymouth City Council agree to buy Home Park

Plymouth City Council has agreed a deal to buy Plymouth Argyle’s Home Park for £1.6m, in a deal that could save the League Two side.

The Western Morning News reports that councillors from both sides voted unanimously in favour of the purchase, which could pave the way for James Brent’s takeover of the side currently propping up the entire Football League.

The council sold the ground for £2.7m five years ago, and they will now lease the stadium back to the club for £135,000 a year.

There were emotional scenes at yesterday’s council meeting with around 150 fans filling the public gallery.

Council leader Vivien Pengelly told the packed meeting: “The football club makes a major contribution to the health of the city.

“If a city has a successful football club, the city rides on its success.”

Opposition Labour group leader Cllr Tudor Evans said that buying Home Park was “absolutely the right thing to do.”

“Argyle runs through this place like the letters on a stick of rock,” he said. “It’s not a franchise, it’s a heartbeat.”

Mr Brent’s five-year repayment deal must be agreed by all past and present staff member who is owed wages by the club if it is to be ratified by the Football League. At least four individuals remain in negotiations with the club, including two players no longer employed by Argyle.

Acting Plymouth chairman Peter Ridsdale, who sat with fans at the meeting, said: “This decision shows how important a vibrant club is to a city like Plymouth.”

John Petrie, of the Argyle Fans’ Trust society board, said: “It’s great to see our leaders having some foresight and planning for the future. We’ll celebrate this decision today – but we are not there yet.”

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