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[March 04, 2014]
'Argyle fans deserve greater transparency' ; DAMON LENSZNER was appointed to Plymouth Argyle's board of directors on the same day as Tony Wrathall in... [Herald, The (Plymouth, England)]
(Herald, The (Plymouth, England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) 'Argyle fans deserve greater transparency' ; DAMON LENSZNER was appointed to Plymouth Argyle's board of directors on the same day as Tony Wrathall in 2005. Lenszner left the boardroom in 2007, but remains a supporter of the Pilgrims. Here, in his own words, he tells Herald Sport why he has reservations about Wrathall's return to the board, and makes a plea to owner and chairman James Brent for more open-ness THE FACT that Tony Wrathall is back in the boardroom must be seen as a kick in the stomach to the staff who suffered so badly during the period of administration, to the Green Taverners and all the volunteers who held buckets and raised money for them and to every fan who contributed to those funds.
Tony and I joined the board of the club together in February 2005, and we worked and our families socialised together until I left the board in July 2007.
It is widely known that Tony is a true fan of the club who, during the 'New World' times generously used his own cash to prop the club up.
But Tony's injection of money at a desperate time in the club's history effectively bought him a place in (executive director) Keith Todd's inner circle.
Tony was involved in all of Todd's ancillary Argyle companies and, despite James Brent's assertions that Tony was one of the least culpable members of the board at that time, he was deeply involved in the decision making process that led the club to the brink of extinction.
For that reason Tony should have just remained watching the game from the stands. But the 'drug' of sitting around the board table, influencing the decision making process at the club and watching the game from the directors' box is a powerful one that I know well.
Tony has been unable to resist the temptation to do it again. The fact that he has, has raised questions far more important than should he be back in the boardroom. The first question must be how desperate was the need for cash for James Brent to require a total change of investment strategy. Mr Brent promised every fan that no ex-director would be invited back to the board nor would be involved as investors during his stewardship. He has often made remarks that walleted directors should not be able to buy their way into the boardroom and that our board would be hand picked for what expertise they can bring, as opposed to what cash they have.
Yet (chief executive) Martyn Starnes, at a meeting of the Senior Greens on Thursday, commented that James had spoken to 'whoever would listen' to try to raise funds. Tony did listen, fair play to him, but the board, again according to Mr Starnes, knew the stink this would cause yet still went ahead and accepted Tony's money. Was this a 'desperate' move? It certainly seems so but raises an equally serious question - just why did our other directors refuse to answer James' call? Messrs (Peter) Jones, (Richard) Holliday and (David) Felwick should be the people ensuring our club has sufficient funds to meet our liabilities.
The fact that they refused to do so speaks volumes for their commitment to our club.
We, as fans, were kept in the dark during the collapse of the 'New World' board. The financial state of the club is being hidden from us again despite the promises of transparency.
Mr Brent, I call on you to be open with us now. Would the Green Army rally to help? Mr Wrathall is a member of the Green Army, he did and so will many thousands of others if you just tell us what the real situation is.
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