What Plymouth Argyle need to do to secure safety this season
With five games to go in this season’ Sky Bet League One campaign, Plymouth Argyle find themselves four points clear of the drop zone but are still very much in the midst of a relegation battle and with some difficult fixtures remaining ahead.
Three of Argyle’s remaining five games are away from home, starting with the trip to play-off chasing Doncaster Rovers this Saturday. Derek Adams’s men will also have to navigate a tricky tie with third-place Barnsley and relegation six-pointers with both Scunthorpe United and Accrington Stanley before the season’s climax.
So will the Pilgrims have enough to stay up?
After going winless for the first eleven games of the season and at one point looking like definites for the drop, to even be in the position that Argyle are in now has been some turnaround and – without wanting to jinx the situation – we should be expected to have enough to stay up from here.
The bookmakers certainly seem to agree; Sky Bet currently have Argyle at odds of 1/16 to beat the drop, with best-priced odds at some bookmakers available as far as 9/1 on us going down, though football acca tips are suggesting the Green Army will still being plying their trade in League One come next season.
The Scunthorpe and Accrington games are going to be crucial and you have to think that if Argyle were to pick up another 6 points, with the gap they already have on the teams below us, which should be enough to see us over the line regardless of what happens in the other matches.
Staying up this season could also prove pivotal for the club’s long term future, with major improvements ongoing at Home Park, particularly to the Mayflower Grandstand. The ground will see 5,304 additional seats, four 400 capacity hospitality spaces, new and improved player dressing rooms and new conferencing and events facilities.
The works will cost an estimated £6.5m in total and expected to be completed by the end of 2019, which at the time of writing remains on schedule and on budget. The potential financial ramifications of relegation would be a major blow amidst the stadium development, while staying up would put an entirely different perspective on the new, improved Home Park next term.
Argyle also recently announced Andrew Parkinson as the club’s new Chief Executive Officer in March, with the 56-year-old former Liverpool Operations Director set to commence his time in the role at the end of this season.
Parkinson’s appointment could also provide a massive boost for the club next year if we can hang on to our League One status, given the fantastic job he did across six years at Liverpool including his influence in Anfield’s New Main Stand.