Day: May 20, 2011

Peter Storrie, Al Fahim and Pompey’s Unbelievable Level

This article first appeared on Pompeyonline in March 2011 and is part of a series aimed at chronicling the history of the club’s fall into administration. “One point two million pound a year, Peter? You’re havin’ a laugh, mush!” Immortal words, captured by Sky on 26 February 2010. A lone fan persuses Peter Storrie as he arrives at PFC offices on the morning the club was put into administration by Balram Chainrai. One fan speaking for Pompey fans everywhere that morning. As Chief Executive Officer of PFC, Peter Storrie was one of the highest earners in the Premier League. In August 2009 he drew down a bonus of £500,000 despite the club being in financial meltdown. His justification – ‘In January 2009, we were in a mess financially and I brought in an awful lot of money so Sacha gave me a £500,000 bonus.’(1) Helpful, when within a month, he was saying that the club had been, ‘very close to administration for nine of the last ten months.’ (2) Yet Mr Storrie maintained he was ‘just an employee’ doing as he was told. So you have to ask, is a CEO really ‘just an employee’? In most businesses, the Chief Executive Officer is employed to be responsible to the Board of Directors for the carrying out of the strategic plans and policies established by that board. As a member...

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How Literal Will The Premier League’s Survival Sunday Be?

In an August 2009 Radio 5 Live programme on the Premier League’s financial troubles, Supporters Direct Chief Executive Dave Boyle addressed the issue of the “chasm” between Premier League and Football League finances. “Once upon a time,” he said to a gathering of football people including the then-Birmingham chairman David Gold, who wasn’t ‘sitting comfortably’, “relegation meant you’d not had a good season. Now it seems to be this existential ‘it’s the end of the club, it’s the end of the world as we know it.’” Boyle’s theory was tested to an extent by that season’s relegation of Hull City and Portsmouth. But it was difficult to gauge how much of Hull’s traumas were down to the gap between the leagues, or the gap between owner Russell Bartlett’s financial strategies and sanity. And Portsmouth, of course, was a test of a different set of theories entirely, largely connected with the wisdom of allowing convicted Russian/Israeli gun-runners to try out a Premier League club’s bank account for size. Allegedly. Some of this season’s bottom six might put Boyle’s theory to a more pertinent test. The bottom six has mostly been the three ‘Bs’ – Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool – nestling uncomfortably on top of the three ‘Ws’ – West Ham United, Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers (the five ‘Ws’, if you have a certain view of the Hammers’...

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Football’s Values: Unethical, Dishonourable or Ill-Advised?

Currently appearing in the high court are an ex-Pompey director, past owner and recent manager on various charges of tax-evasion. Charged with fraud and unfair trading practices at  court an ex-Cardiff City director and Plymouth chairman, whilst at Wrexham a consortium containing a solicitor debarred on eighteen counts attempts a take over. That’s just so far this month. Not to mention the shenanigans at Port Vale and Plymouth reported by m’colleagues elsewhere on this site. The values demonstrated by the West Ham trio of Gold, Sullivan and Brady with their ‘tactful and understanding’ management style also made interesting reading this week. One comment on Phil McNulty’s blog after the insensitive manner of the sacking of Avram Grant by this conglomerate shows the esteem in which they are held. It suggests that Sullivan’s ‘abuse of the players … is typical and it won’t be long before he gets stuck into the fans who, in his mind, never appreciate his largesse and mastery of the football business.’ I gather fans at Birmingham (what IS going on there?) nurture the same level of affection for their ex-owners. That the largesse so described is derived from the porn industry is a matter often used to deride any team they are involved with and often seems more of a joke than a moral issue. Meanwhile at Pompey in recent times we have had...

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