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Plymouth CEO writes open letter to unhappy fans as Neil Warnock reveals his stance on the job

Plymouth CEO Andrew Parkinson writes an open letter to unhappy fans as Neil Warnock reveals his stance on potentially taking the job.

The chief executive has stood by the club’s choice to hire Ian Foster after he was dismissed as head coach on Monday evening following a string of poor results that saw Argyle fall dangerously close to the Championship relegation zone.

Despite his brief tenure of less than three months, Foster holds the record for the shortest-ever reign as a permanent manager at Home Park.

Meanwhile, Neil Warnock says he WOULD have been up for taking charge of Argyle for their final six games had he been asked following the sacking of Ian Foster.

Instead, he has now called on the Green Army to get ‘totally behind’ Neil Dewsnip and Kevin Nancekivell who will be at the helm while the club continue their search for a permanent replacement.

You can see what Warnock had to say towards the bottom of this article.


Plymouth Argyle can confirm Head Coach Ian Foster has been relieved of his duties with immediate effect.

Today’s 1-0 defeat to Bristol City has seen the club fail to win and score in five successive home games, with Argyle now sitting just one point above the relegation zone.

The Argyle Board feel now is the time to make a change in an effort to secure Argyle’s Sky Bet Championship survival for another season.

Director of Football Neil Dewsnip supported by first-team coach Kevin Nancekivell will take charge of the team for the remainder of the season, with Simon Ireland and Daryl Flahavan continuing in their respective roles.

Chairman Simon Hallett said: “Ian was hired through a thorough and extensive recruitment process and his coaching credentials really stood out when making the appointment.

“But we have to balance long-term stability against short-term decisions, and we have given Ian as long as possible to see if results could improve.

“Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case, and we feel now is the right time to make a change to give us the best chance of securing survival.

“The Green Army have been incredible in recent weeks, as ever, and we need you all now to continue that support as we embark on the final weeks of the campaign with Neil and Nance in charge.

“Together we can achieve what we set out to achieve at the start of the season.”

Everyone at Argyle would like to thank Ian for his tireless efforts during his time at the club and wish him well for the future.


It feels like an appropriate time to address you all, after what has been a busy and important few days for the football club.

On Monday night, following our game against Bristol City, the board met and made the difficult decision to part ways with Head Coach Ian Foster.

Decisions like this are never made lightly. Ultimately, given our league position, and recent results, we took the decision to make a change, with six crucial games remaining. It has always been the goal for this season to stay in the Sky Bet Championship, and that target remains in our hands.

It was important to us to give Ian sufficient time in his role in line with the values of our club. He was appointed, at the start of the calendar year, following a thorough recruitment process.

Transfer budget was provided for Ian to sign players that he had identified, and the club brought in Simon Ireland and Darryl Flahavan, two experienced coaches, to provide assistance. Ian indicated that he needed more time to assess additional coaching requirements based on the availability of suitable candidates, and understanding exactly what we already had.

We have a belief at Plymouth Argyle that our employees should be given requisite chance to thrive and develop in their roles. We aspire to be seen as a leading employer within the South West – and we believe we are a long way towards our goal. That entails empowering people – not just a head coach, but any member of staff across the organisation – to perform their role, and prove themselves.

We believe, within football circles and beyond, that our club is seen as an exciting and fair place to work, and our record in terms of working with managers or coaches, developing them and the club, speaks for itself.

On this occasion, at this specific moment in time, we believe that the best way forward was to make a change. It is, though, important to retain continuity, and that refers to a successful setup throughout Argyle over several years.

Neil Dewsnip came to us as a director of football when we were a League Two side, and has overseen so much development on and off the pitch. We have had two promotions in four years and have made significant strides in all footballing areas of the club. Neil has been critical to that progression.

Argyle fans need no explanation of what Kevin Nancekivell means to the football club – and vice versa. Kevin is Mr Argyle; a fan, a former player, a brilliant coach, and a terrific person. Argyle’s success means everything to him.

Between Neil and Kevin, the football knowledge they share is tremendous, as is the drive to ensure this football club continues to thrive, progress and succeed. Neil and Kevin know all about our philosophy. They also know the players; they know their strengths and weaknesses, their characteristics, what makes them tick.

We have seen the players respond to Neil and Kevin before. It was a far greater risk at this time to bring in someone from the outside, who would need time to familiarise themselves with the intricate details of the squad, to get to know them properly. It was time that we simply do not have.

It was important to make a decision on the direction on the football front for the rest of the season, to provide clarity for all concerned. This also gives us time to start the process of appointing Ian Foster’s successor, something that the Board of Directors have already begun.

We have already had people contact us, registering interest in the job, which will once again be a very sought-after and attractive role. It is vital we get the appointment right, and we will take the time we need to select the best candidate.

For much of this season, we have seen our exciting, young squad play committed, attacking football, and for the period in which Neil and Kevin oversaw football matters between head coaches, we saw that on display in some thrilling games.

They know, as do our superb group of players, what we need to do to stay in the Championship. On a factual level, it means we have to pick up points from our remaining six games. Crucially, matters are still in our hands.

On a more holistic level, it means we must be united as we move forwards. Of course, the staff and players play a major part in this, but to an equally great part, so do the Green Army.

I believe you have seen, although results have not been as we would have liked in the last few games, that our players are 100% committed to the cause, and are giving everything. That is in great part down to the backing they have received from all of you.

There are not many clubs, with our current form and position, that would see 1,400 fans travel from west to east, to Norwich City, on Good Friday. It was terrific, yet not surprising, to see. Then, three days later, Home Park was not only sold out, as it always is, but was rocking against Bristol City.

We all – from top to bottom at the club – were appreciative of how vocal and supportive you were of the players on Monday. Even by the Green Army’s high standards, the support was exceptional.

We need that six more times; and we know that you will be there to roar the players on, as you always are.

Whether it is on the road at Rotherham United, Stoke City and Millwall, or with our three remaining Home Park fixtures, or from wherever you are in the world, interacting on the website, on social media and on Argyle TV – we need you. We are all pulling in the same direction. We will do this together.

Thank you,



Former promotion-winning Plymouth boss Neil Warnock is optimistic the Pilgrims can avoid relegation from the Championship this season.

The 75-year-old also said in an interview with David White of BBC Radio Cornwall he would have been up for taking charge of the team for their final six fixtures had he been asked following the club’s sacking of Ian Foster.

Warnock said: “I would have done it if they had asked me but they haven’t, they have gone that way. They have got some really good players you know.

“I think once they are organised, I have seen enough of the players this year, with Whittaker especially, to know they are good enough to stay up. I know what other teams are down at the bottom end there and they are more than capable of staying, it’s just making sure you get organised.

“The goals they conceded at Norwich, for example, it was a travesty from corner kicks like that. You have got to eliminate the little errors, the goals like that, and then rely on the players you have got. Like I say, I have seen more than enough to see they have got a great a chance with Green Army, you know what the Green Army is like.

“Me and my daughter Amy go to the games and we just love it there, with the atmosphere and everything. It has been fabulous so I do want them to make sure they stay in the Championship because financially it makes a difference I think.”

Warnock has retained his family home in south-east Cornwall ever since his time as Argyle manager and has been a regular visitor to Home Park over recent times when not in management himself.

He said: “It’s my club that, I love the club, so I just want them to do well. I will be going to some of these games and hoping they can get the results.

“They have been a bit unlucky at times as well, a couple of decisions at places like Ipswich where they could have got something. They haven’t had much going for them, but that could change.

“Neil Dewsnip has taken over now and Kevin has been there a while as well, and the coaching staff is staying. Sometimes you need a new voice but they were in charge before Ian Foster came so they know all the ins and outs.”

Warnock added: “They are lacking in confidence at the moment because the results haven’t been there. They need goals. Obviously they have not scored the last five home games – I didn’t realise that until I read it.

“They are going to need Whittaker firing and one or two of the other lads. Hardie had a couple of great chances at Norwich. They just need the main players to step up, the Green Army to get behind them and just concentrate on these last six games getting totally behind Neil Dewsnip and Kevin Nancekivell.”

This is what fans are saying as the Plymouth CEO writes an open letter to unhappy fans as Neil Warnock reveals his stance on the job…


@LouistomTwit: Great response from Andrew. You can tell he wants to get the fanbase strong for the remaining six games.

@RickSlayerBloke: Fantastic response I have to say having been critical of the clubs transparency in recent weeks. However reading this we definitely need to toughen up. The time Foster was given at the end just makes us seem very soft and potentially precious points lost

@TheEdwardsFami3: Every word spoken was spot on, now the silence has been broken and everything has been addressed, these next 6 games we get behind that team and we make it over that finish line and we stay up

@argylepete: I have been a critic of the board in recent times, but, as always they seem to have, fingers crossed made the right decision once again.

@MrsFoxtrotwhisk: Andrew Parkinson is a big part of our success. The tone of this letter is spot on. We’re all in this together, and for the future we are seen as a good place for up and coming manager/coaches. Focus on next 6 games, after that we’ll be starting a new era of development #pafc

@MattiusPAFC: Fantastic letter. Pretty much said everything we want to hear. Still disappointed about Warnock but can understand why ⚽️💚 #pafc

@Zach479129001: Exactly that! Now let’s fucking fight to stay in this league! That away end at Rotherham needs to be electric and well home park Tuesday night needs to be one of the loudest weve had it! That place needs to be fucking bouncing! 6 cup finals left! So let’s have every game rocking

@MikeBlackmore96: Well done to Andrew Parkinson for providing an update and the first response from the club after silence over the last few weeks. Whether we believe we made the right or wrong decision these next 6 games are massive and the greens need their 12th man #pafc

@jm_bell95: Excellent letter from Andrew Parkinson. Goes into about as much detail as I think he’s able too here, quite open and honest. I’ve been critical of the silence from the club in recent weeks and I still feel something was better than nothing but thank you for the update #pafc

@tommy_ahearne: Thank you Andrew. That is an exceptional response. Now let’s all get behind this team and get some points on the board 💚


@kelly_dink: Cmon @Argyle, give him a ring! He knows us, he knows the club. You literally have someone with a long connection to the club saying he would do it if you call!

@STB_93: Absolutely baffling.

@PAFC_Baz: please get on the phone to him 📞 @Argyle

@MH12CP: Amateur hour at the club these days. Going to get what we deserve.

@lewyitfc: Mad that they’ve not handed over to him for the rest of the season so they can find a suitable replacement.

@richardw9876: This is very much Neil Warnock saying “call me”

@PhilipC82021006: Can’t believe what I’m reading, if we go down now this will all sit at Dewsnips door

@SupremeLeaderD3: Dewsnip to bring another scouser buddy of his

@danogould: Crazy not to give him the job for 6 games

@KaneSullivan: For me, if Argyle go down it’s on Dewsnip. Too arrogant to appoint someone he can’t manipulate and it could be our downfall

@Ollieargyle9: As I see it we had two options. Dewsnip: knowledge of the players and Schuey’s old system and hope he brings it back. Warnock: less knowledge of the team but has proper managerial experience. We went option 1. Whoever decided that should be accountable, if we go down #pafc

@KyleGatfield97: Feel like the club have missed a massive trick here, a man that knows this level inside & out to, could massively bite us on the arse.

@ChiIdishDanbino: this will look 10x worse than it already is if we still get relegated #pafc

@DJ3001_: Little old Argyle again, fucking baffling this is. What a gamble.

@markyball: Someone to reset the fan-club relationship. Someone with a back-room team. Someone to guarantee energy and renewed spirit. A team others wouldn’t want to play at this stage of the season. Why not??? @argyle #PAFC 🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬

@ecfc32: Argyle refusing to get Warnock in is so weird. He knows the area, loves the club and would keep them up. Seems a no-brainer to me to have got him in. #pafc

@olpafc_: Huge gamble from the board this

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