On the morning of September 19, Richard Keys and Andy Gray (remember those?) questioned Plymouth Argyle Chairman Peter Ridsdale on the recent sacking of Peter Reid. Read the full transcript here.
Peter Reid has issued a very gracious statement in response:
“I’m disappointed I couldn’t see the job through. The results haven’t been good enough, whatever the extenuating circumstances. But I’m really proud to have been the manager of Plymouth Argyle.
“I know what the club means to the area and the priority, as I have said all along, is for it to keep going.
“I was embarrassed we kept getting beaten, because losing is just not in my nature, but the supporters have kept getting behind us.
“I have been privileged to play for and manage some so-called ‘big clubs’, but none have had fans as loyal and passionate, and who travel so far to away games, as those at Argyle.
“It’s just amazing, and that’s why this football club has got to keep going. I wish everyone well.”
During that last 5 days all sorts of eulogies have been written in reference to Peter Reid’s 15 month tenure at Plymouth Argyle, but none seem to have covered just how gracious Reid has been throughout the whole debacle.
Reid came into a club in crisis. Relegated from the Championship and with no money to bring in his own players, he went through the season having his best players sold from under him, having to motivate players who went unpaid from December-September, paying youth players and heating bills out of his own pocket, trying to overcome a 10-point deduction imposed through no fault of his own. 34 players left the club between the start of his reign and the start of the 2011-12 season, and Reid had to build not only a new team, but a new squad from scratch. A team, remember, who were not guaranteed a wage. A team of consisting mostly of youth payers with no first team experience at any level. And subsequently a team who sit at the very bottom of the football league. Throughout this time how many times did Reid complain publicly? None. He quietly got on with the job in hand, despite hearing false promises throughout, about how the situation would improve, only it got worse. And rather than throw in the towel and look for a job that paid, he got on with the challenge, the job he set out to do, as more and more hurdles were put in his path.
I can’t pretend Reid is the best manager there is, he is far from that. But no one could have acted in a more dignified way in such circumstances as Reid did. Not once did he show frustration, or dissent. Even now, after Peter Ridsdale took it upon himself to sack the man who had the most impossible job in football, Reid has acted with grace and dignity.
Peter Ridsdale is only out for himself, to get everything he can and to try and come out looking like the good guy. Except, as everyone knows, Peter Reid has been the good guy all along…