Day: March 31, 2012

West Ham United’s Faustian Pact Bares Its Teeth

A quite, considered hush fell over Upon Park about ten minutes into the second half of West Ham Uniteds match against Reading yesterday afternoon. As the visiting team dispatched their third goal, a penalty kick from Ian Harte after a clumsy tackle by Abdoulaye Faye in fifteen minutes either side of half-time and extended their lead to three-one, it was as if this was the collective moment of realisation for their supporters that, having been there or thereabouts for most of this season, the possibility of thereabouts being the sum total of their forty-six league matches us starting to become rather more of a likelihood. The afternoon had started reasonably well, an early lead grabbed through Carlton Cole and enough possession being maintained to raise the question of what all the fuss over this Reading that has been quietly shuffling its way up the Championship table is all about. In the space of three minutes at the end of the half, however, old unfamiliarities reasserted themselves with two goals for the visitors from Kaspars Gorkss and Noel Hunt to turn the scoreline upside-down. To an extent, the third Reading goal was merely confirmation that the couple of minutes prior to half-time hadn’t merely been confirmation that the couple of minutes prior to the half-time whistle hadn’t merely been some sort of collective hallucinatory experience. Hope came again with a...

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Peter Storrie vs The Pompey Community Share Scheme: Is This The Supporters Choice?

If there is one lesson that can surely be taken from the last few years of the subsistence of Portsmouth Football Club, it must surely be that this, perhaps above all other clubs, is the one that defines everything that is wrong with football club ownership in this country at this time. This is the club at which wages far above and beyond a level that could ever reasonably maintained and which eventually found itself eventually being kicked from pillar to post as speculators from across the world, none of whom had any previous connection with the club and who, we can be reasonably certain, were primarily interested only in the possibility of that elusive pot of gold at the end of the Premier League rainbow, walked away scot-free as the club bumped from crisis to crisis. This is the football club that failed twice in two years, which demonstrated the inefficacy of this country’s insolvency laws in doing anything but absolving serial debtors from their responsibilities and making it easy for them to do so. It is also the club which now, at its lowest ebb, at the point at which a sizable number of its own supporters are arriving at the opinion that it this is incarnation of it is a busted flush and that the most sensible thing to do might be to walk away from...

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