1. ITV Report

Comment: Argyle to appoint Director of Football

The West Country Tonight's Sport Correspondent, Matthias Kurth Photo: ITV Westcountry

This is a somewhat strange and unexpected announcement from Plymouth Argyle. No-one saw this coming.

The debate was whether the club's owner, James Brent, would sack Carl Fletcher as manager or stick with him for a while longer.

This news means he'll stay in the job until the end of season at least, and it reminds us that Brent is not your average football club chairman.

All this is so striking because, given the burden of debt at the club and stringent finances since James Brent bailed it out of the mire a year ago, the spectre of relegation from the Football League must be terrifying. It is also now becoming a very real possibility as each week passes.

If Argyle were to go down they would surely be the biggest club ever to drop into non-league football.

Fletcher held the team together admirably last season after he took over from sacked manager, Peter Reid, and Plymouth avoided a third successive relegation.

Now, however, he is under considerable pressure following a run of eight games without a win, and with Argyle perched perilously just one point above the drop zone.

When Brent took ownership of the club he said that he wanted to reward loyalty, give the club stability, and build patiently. It could now be to Argyle's detriment because relegation would certainly not achieve two of those aims.

It looks as though he's trying to patch-up a gaping wound as opposed to administering some serious first aid or even operating.

This decision will be pivotal. In the British game we haven't yet seen the European model of management, where a director football "supports" a manager, work with any great success.

Argyle need it to work and to start working as soon as possible.

Argyle manager Carl Fletcher. Credit: PA Wire

More on this story