TTU Awards 2011-12: Best Fans

Posted by on Jun 3, 2012 in TTU Awards | 6 Comments
TTU Awards 2011-12: Best Fans

Despite our claims to unbiased coverage on this website, it can be difficult – sometimes – to think independently of our individual hues.

Awarding Plymouth Argyle – my own team – with the best fans award this year is such a case, although we’d argue that it’s on good grounds.

Pretty much everyone, by now, should be cognisant of what a traumatic time it’s been for all those attached to the Football League’s most westerly club. Two relegations on the bounce followed by a desperate scrap for League 2 survival this year, interspersed by the part-desecration of Argyle legend Paul Sturrock; various winding-up orders; an inconceivably trying period in administration; and a near-complete turnover in playing and managerial staff took the club to the brink in 2011-12.

Home Park’s average attendance has suffered, as you’d expect for a club that’s gone from playing Championship to League 2 football. Vitally, however, Argyle’s core support mobilised and key individuals took those who sought to take advantage of its vulnerability – namely the administrators, Kevin Heaney and selected former directors – to task. Of equal importance were the throng of supporters who initiated a series of fundraising events to support the club and its staff during this period. Further, rarely did fans let the takeover of the club slip out of the local media’s headline stories and James Brent’s bid – by far the most suitable proposition for the club – was persistently encouraged.

The Green Army wasn’t alone. Hearteningly, Brighton fans were instrumental in organising a couple of very successful Fans Reunited days at Home Park and the sight of Seagulls supporters chanting and generally having a ball at our last match at home to Cheltenham really was a poignant moment for this correspondent.

Some Argyle fans have since been recognised by the club, as well as various ‘Supporter of the Year’ awards, and with a stable-looking squad and season ticket applications on the rise things are looking much better than they have done for a long time. With ‘super fan’ accusations abound and power battles alleged in relation to the Supporters’ Trust, challenges remain but for making themselves heard in the face of adversity, there can be no other candidate for this year’s best fans.

2010-11 Winner: Scunthorpe United
2009-10 Winner: Derby County

The Two Unfortunates
The non-partisan website with an eye on the Football League

6 Comments

  1. Lanterne Rouge
    June 3, 2012

    Well…apart from driving out a manager who had gone unpaid uncomplainingly for months of course.

    But I take your point especially given the impressive numbers present for a Tuesday night away game I went to at Oxford – as well as the sterling grassroots efforts you outline. Pompey fans also deserve a shout for some major efforts – particularly those who had reservations when the England strike force inexplicably joined the club and the FA Cup was lofted a few years back.

    Derby again somehow manage to pull in more than 26,000 despite year after year of mid table mediocrity (arguably even harder to get excited about than a plummet down the divisions which at least possesses the virtue of novelty) and I think your point is a good one in that the volume of support matters less than fervour of those who carry on going; no matter how small they are in numbers.

    But you’ll find very few fans indeed who don’t think their own club has the best supporters.- the North East is especially guilty of this and it’s nothing to do with not winning anything on the field of course!

    The best atmosphere I was witness to this season was at St. Mary’s but it did feature the two clubs automatically promoted to the Premier League.

    Reply
  2. PAFC7
    June 3, 2012

    @Lanterne Rouge – How did the fans drive out Peter Reid? That was Peter Ridsdales decision and not one I agreed with.

    Reply
  3. Lanterne Rouge
    June 3, 2012

    @PAFC7 Of course it was Ridsdale’s decision officially but plenty of Plymouth fans felt that Reid had taken things as far as he could – and they were probably right given the improvement under Carl Fletcher. My fellow blogger Lloyd felt it was time for Reid to go when he did although he also acknowledges that the decision was a harsh one given the dignity with which the Liverpudlian behaved throughout the financial troubles.

    Reply
  4. Lloyd
    June 3, 2012

    Peter Reid is a separate issue, Lanterne. There was no ‘driving out’ from the fans. For once, I think you’re way off the mark there (or it was a bad joke!).

    Reply
  5. Jack Mayflower
    June 3, 2012

    Well, I’m touched and overcome. I would just like to say thank you to all those Argyle footballers who gave me the chance to support them all these years and make my recent life such a misery.
    For the record, Peter Reid was not forced out by any of the Argyle fans. From his own lips, It was purely Peter Ridsdale’s decision alone. Many have speculated why he did it. Apparently at the time, the unpaid players were talking of strike action, and those senior professionals nearing the end of their playing caeers were right in the forefront. Two of them were offered the work as management, and the strike threat faded away. Hmm.

    Reply
  6. Barry Garlowe
    June 5, 2012

    ‘Best Fans’ is such a cringeworthy title.

    Reply

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