Despite the sacking of Chris Hughton and the lack of an adequate replacement for Andy Carroll – whose season in the Championship propelled him from reserve forward to England international – Newcastle have since consolidated their place in the Premier League. For Plymouth, who survived two winding-up orders before they entered administration in the first week of March, the season culminated in a home defeat to Southampton and a second successive relegation. Around 50 members of staff have been working without salary since January. Despite the Argyle Supporters’ Trust helping to raise money towards a hardship fund, many are now in debt and struggling to afford even the petrol to get them into work. There are real fears that Plymouth Argyle Football Club may not survive at all.
The video made by Newcastle Fans United nearly didn’t happen at all. Together with FNA Films I first approached Sky TV about footage “for a short 30 second video to try and raise funds for Plymouth Argyle”. They passed us on to another company who, like Sky, said they would be happy to help but didn’t own the rights to the pictures from the game. We were passed on again, explained the situation – and were told we would have to pay £800. “It’s a short, non-commercial video to help a football club that might go out of business,” we explained. “Our rates are £800 per minute,” was all we received in reply. We tried YouTube, but most of the footage was shaky and blurred. One – from a Newcastle fan who was at the game - was better than the rest. “Can we use your video?” we asked. Ten minutes later we got a reply. “No problem. Anything I can do to help.” Compare and contrast with the (unnamed) TV company.
The video went live last night and will be plugged on Newcastle United blogs and websites. It’s a small gesture but one we hope will remind Plymouth fans that they do not stand alone. I urge all football fans to contribute whatever they can towards helping the Argyle Supporters’ Trust keep their club alive.
Special thanks go to www.phil.im for the footage we used in the video.