Day: July 24, 2012

Sixteen Days To Save Portsmouth

The darkest hour, optimists might say, comes before the dawn, to which pessimists might counter by saying that one of English footballs longest-running financial seems to be approaching its inevitable solution. At least, the rest of us may consider, we will at least have an answer, one way or the other. The decision of Trevor Birch, the administrator in charge of the yet again financially-stricken Portsmouth Football Club, to announce today that the club will be liquidated on the tenth of August if arrangement cannot be reached with players who are holding out for wages that the two rival bids for the club cannot agree a CVA with. In a statement that may well make the blood of many of the clubs supporters run cold, Birch said: The facts are straightforward: under the terms of the offer for the club, in order to complete the CVA proposal, the players have to leave and conclude compromise settlements. This condition has been imposed by the Pompey Supporters Trust as well as by Portpin – both interested parties have made it clear that they won’t take on the club unless there is movement from the players. We will continue to do all we can to facilitate these deals but the club’s future hinges on the willingness of certain players and their agents to sign up to compromise agreements that are affordable both...

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Olympic Football – The Real Thing?

BBC football commentator Jonathan Pearce got through last Friday evening without once name-checking his current love…Cristiano bloody Ronaldo. He also avoided one word you would have thought key to his commentary on a football match between Great Britain and Brazil. Britain. In an age where succinct branding is so important (and Google “Bill Hicks advertising marketing” for my “view” on such things), “Team GB” is about as much detail as the modern sports fan is deemed capable of understanding. So Stuart Pearce’s hastily-flung together team of B-list England stars and most of the best of the Welsh were “Team GB” for the night. Maybe if they had the ball long enough to force Pearce to use two descriptions… This was just one of many examples of the unease with which Olympic football is, and has long been, viewed in this country – by which, more confusingly, I actually mean the ‘United Kingdom’ of course. There are at least two reasons for this. History and politics. Early tournaments produced predictable British victories as most other nations had barely started playing the game. But the other nations “caught up” thanks to football’s international development. And the Olympic tournaments of the 1920s showcased the exotically sensational Uruguayan team which went on to win the first World Cup in 1930 – the 1928 Olympic decider in Amsterdam being a precursor to that 1930...

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