Day: November 24, 2011

Pompey: An Unavoidable Calamity?

Its getting to the point where Pompey fans are wondering if there is some kind of Karmic force coming to a head in the City. Something to do with all those Crusaders who set sail from there back in the middle ages perhaps? Because the tally of owners of ill-repute the club has had over the last 20 years is growing to epic proportions. One favourite game on messageboards at the moment, among the black humour and straw-clutching aphorisms, is ‘spot the last honest owner we had.’ There is currently a European Union Arrest Warrant out for the Chairman of PFC, Vladimir Antonov. He is wanted for interview in regard to the insolvency of his Snoras Bank in Lithuania and its subsidiary in Latvia, Latvijas Krabjanka. It seems that there is a serious shortfall of funds in both banks, believed to be between £300m and £800m. The Latvians describe an ‘unexpected outflow of funds’ over two days this week after the Lithuanian Snoras bank was put into involuntary administration and wisely suspended all financial operations. Funnily enough it was ‘significant outflow’ of cash from the Lithuanian Snoras that triggered the investigation that led to administration. The arrest warrant lists Antonov and his business partner, Raimundas Baranauskas, as suspects in regard to alleged ‘fraudulent accounting, forgery of documents, abuse of authority, misappropriation of property, money laundering and other criminal offences committed by the...

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Are Kettering Town On The Brink?

Things seem to be escalating out of control very rapidly at Blue Square Premier club Kettering Town, where pre-season hopes of a fresh start at a new home have already evaporated, to be replaced by a sense of foreboding over so little as the short term security of the club. During the summer, Kettering’s move from its traditional Rockingham Road home to Nene Park, the former home of the club’s former rivals Rushden & Diamonds, eight miles from their home town, had provoked more than a few raised eyebrows. That Kettering are in financial trouble themselves just months after moving in there themselves will likely raise more still. Since the last time that we wrote on this subject, the club’s position has deteriorated still further. Owner Imraan Ladak has now stated that he will “listen to offers” for the club – although the question of who is going to be interested in buying a non-league football club that is losing money hand over fist and has just signed a twenty-five year lease in a new ground miles from its home town is not one that is easily answered – whilst the playing staff looks likely to be diminished by the departure of what has been suggested as up to eight to ten players and manager Mark Stimson has been unable to arrest the team’s slide on the pitch. The...

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SPL Should Consider Fan Investment

Football loves its phrases. We speak of a player getting stuck in and having good feet for a big man, while saying his form is poor as he’s gone off the boil. Some squads play Route One football and others just run about.  The sports lexicon is thick with these and many other sayings that at times can remind us in short order what message is attempting to be conveyed–a little Richard Keys banter if you like–and on other occasions cause us to grind our teeth slightly at their overusage–again, a little Richard Keys banter if you like. Now swiftly being added to the standard book of catchphrases for Scottish football representatives is, “Given the current economic climate,” but it is coming to sound less a cliché than their “focus on youth development” and more of a crutch to justify why the game north of Hadrian’s Wall struggles. Supporters of Scottish Premier League clubs must surely be frustrated when this chestnut is pulled out, as it suggests the part they play in digging the game out of its current muck is once again being overlooked. Alarm bells are ringing and dark clouds hang ominously low, but Neil Doncaster & Co. are presented as trying to put a brave face upon the situation the SPL confront. Champions Rangers await a now delayed answer from the courts on whether their massive tax bill must indeed be paid in full, threatening to reduce one of Scotland’s biggest and...

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