Day: April 20, 2010

Portsmouth’s Debt Up To £119m

The full extent of the financial horror at Portsmouth, then, is starting to become apparent. It is starting to feel as if every time the club’s administrator, Andrew Andronikou, opens or moves anything, there is a red bill hiding underneath, behind or within it. The figures estimated in the media earlier in the season had put the club’s debt at around the £70m mark, which had seemed insane enough for a club heading for relegation from the Premier League and with a 20,000 capacity stadium. The latest figures to be released by Andronikou, however, make the days of Portsmouth’s £70m debt seem like the carefree days of the past. The current debt is now £119m, including £14m in unpaid transfer fees for Jermaine Defoe, Sulley Muntari and Glen Johnson, all three of whom have been sold on to other clubs at a considerable (theoretical) profit. The total amount that Portsmouth have been reported as having received in transfer fees for these players was around £50m. This may seem to be absurd beyond absurd, but it seems as if there is no madness that is too great for this club. £14m is owed to Balram Chainrai, the club’s current owner, though the fact that he is a secured creditor means that he will be likely to be paid in full. The £14m from unpaid transfer fees will also be excluded...

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Adrian Chiles Departs The BBC

So, farewell then, Match of the Day 2 – at least, farewell in its current guise as the best football programme on television. The long-predicted transfer/defection of former business journalist and current and forever West Bromwich Albion fan Adrian Chiles to ITV/GMTV means a change to the BBC’s winning mix of football action, comment and humour, based around SKY’s “Super Sunday” games and encounters involving Europa Leaguers. Chiles has the potential to make ITV’s World Cup football coverage almost watchable, if he can match Steve Rider’s winning combination of enthusiasm and expertise – no mean task, I’m sure you’ll agree. The same might have been said of Desmond Lynam just over a decade ago, when he gave up the regular urge to plant one on Jimmy Hill’s chin in the BBC studios to front “The Premiership”, one of British broadcasting’s finest hours and the launchpad for Andy Townsend’s media career. Of course, “The Premiership” wasn’t even ITV’s finest hour (after all, it was the launchpad for Andy Townsend’s media career). And Lynam, last seen in cartoon form advertising Setanta’s UK’s riotously successful sports coverage, was already a veteran broadcaster arguably past his peak. Chiles, however, is different. He is a genuine football fan at the top of his presenting game, his style tailor-made for the serious, but not-too-serious, style of “MOTD 2.” Indeed, for those like myself who haven’t...

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Video Of The Week: Anderlecht vs West Ham United – 1976 CWC Final

This week’s Video Of The Week comes courtesy of RSC Anderlecht’s YouTube page, and is the complete 1976 European Cup Winners Cup Final between Anderlecht and West Ham United. West Ham’s achievement in reaching a European trophy final in a season during which they finished in eighteenth place can’t be understated, but they met their match in an Anderlecht team that contained, amongst others, François Van Der Elst (who went on to play for West Ham between 1981 and 1983) and the Dutch pairing of Arie Haan and Rob Rensenbrink. Both of the latter two went on to play in the 1978 World Cup final for the Netherlands against Argentina – a match which the Netherlands came within one kick (one Rob Rensenbrink kick, as it happened) away from snatching away from the host nation. The match was played at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels, but it wasn’t quite a home match for them. They played their home matches then, as they do now, at the Stade Constant Vanden Stock, in the Anderlecht suburb on the western side of the city. This was the first of three successive European Cup Winners Cup finals for Anderlecht, who lost the 1977 final to Hamburg before beating Austria Vienna 4-0 in the 1978 final. Anyone doubting their quality (they were kept out of the European Cup by Club Brugge, who only narrowly...

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