Day: March 2, 2012

On The Brink: Pay Up Pompey, Pompey Pay Up

How on earth did it come to this again? Two years ago, Portsmouth Football Club became the poster boys for football’s wretched current condition when they became the first Premier League club to be nudged into administration. For all the heartache that this caused, the club was due to be getting a clean start with this move – a move which, it should be remembered, sealed the club’s fate with regard to relegation from the Premier League in the first place – but it has only taken two years to get back to administration again, and this time the feeling in the air around Fratton Park has a distinctly fatalistic mood about it. Administrator Trevor Birch of  the PKF group, the court-appointed administrators for Portsmouth Football Club this time around, put the matter in the starkest possible terms in his statement on the club’s current position yesterday. “We had previously stated that there was a real danger of the club running out of cash before the end of the season.”, he said, “The more we uncover, the worse the picture appears to get.” He did reappear in the press today to quash a little confusion over the suggestion that parachute payments which are being advanced by the Premier League would be ending up going to former owner Sacha Gaydamak. “The issue is that a mechanism was put in place by...

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On The Brink: An Introduction To Football’s Chaotic Current State

For much of the last decade, British football has been teetering on the edge of a precipice. In an era during which the game should have been reaping the rewards of unprecedented amounts of money flowing through the game, we have seen over half of the clubs of the Football League forced into some sort of insolvency event and numerous non-league clubs lose their grounds or cease to exist. And things are getting worse, rather than better. In fact, it wouldn’t be completely wide of the mark to describe the last month or so as catastrophic for the state of the game in this country. Consider the names of some of those that have found themselves in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons over the last few weeks or so. Rangers, the club of the Scottish establishment, the first club in the world to win fifty league championships and still the record holders for the most league championships won, have been disemboweled over the last few months, or perhaps years. Birmingham City, winners at Wembley just twelve months ago, are under a transfer embargo for not completing their accounts on time following the arrest of owner Carson Yeung in June on money laundering charges, while their Midlands rivals Coventry City, who played for more than four decades consecutively in the top division of English football, face the same...

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