Another Black Week For Portsmouth


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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8 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    Once the dust has settled from this debacle, I hope the spotlight will turn to the FA and their so-called Fit & Proper Persons Test. It has become quite clear throughout all of this that Portsmouth’s owner, Ali Al-Faraj, who incidentally has never been spotted at Fratton Park or any other ground in the UK, is neither fit nor proper to run a football club. It’s also looking increasingly likely that he either has no money, is unwilling to spend anything to help Pompey keep afloat, or is hoping to run the club into the ground and sell off the assets before the club’s creditors get a sniff.

    The F&PPT should have been called further into question following the corruption and money laundering trials of Thaksin Shinawatra but it wasn’t. As usual, the FA were seduced by the money and despite the owner being as bent as a nine bob note, he was rich, and therefore he must be a jolly good bloke.

    I sincerely hope that whatever becomes of Portsmouth FC (as a Saints supporter, I hope they at least exist long enough for the derby on the 13th), one of the big outcomes will be that the F&PPT is brought to book for allowing people like Al-Faraj, the Glazers and Shinawatra into the game.

  2. Martin says:

    Forget this probably non-existent Arab chap, Peter Storrie, Milan Mandaric, Alexandre Gaydamak and Harry Redknapp should all fail to pass a Fit and Proper Persons’ Test.

    Without money laundering football would be in an even worse state than it is already!

  3. Mark Wilson says:

    My heart goes out to the real supporters of any club being mismanaged in the way Portsmouth is but if Pompey go to the wall (or Palace) it might just be the wake up call that football administrators need.
    The FA and Football League have allowed massive inequalities to develop where clubs in the Premier League and top end of the Championship are awash in money and in a position to generate ever more, so that snouts are permanently in the trough. At the other end of the spectrum lower division clubs scrape by on a pittance and can only look on in envy when one Premiership player’s weekly wage would keep them going for half a season.
    If a ‘big club’ goes maybe the administrators will look more widely at ALL of football.

  4. Jertzee says:

    The issue with a Fit and Proper Person’s Test is that it is fundamentally flawed.

    What you have to remember is that no one will be found “unfit” unless they are legally “unfit”, ie like Vaughan from Chester where he is a banned director.
    Without such an obvious, proved in a court mark against you the FA will ALWAYS deem the owner to be “Fit and Proper”.
    Simple, they do not want someone with the cash (or even supposed cash) to threaten them for what would be libel or slander by accusing them of being unfit despite no actual proof.
    I don’t know the exact wording of the “test” but you can bet your bottom dollar that the FA will never find against an owner unless someone else has already banned him from a directorship or similar.

    They run scared from any legal threat – proof of that came in May 2002 when faced with a threat of legal action from Koppel about denying WFC the right to trade in Milton Keynes the FA said “We disagree with the move but…….” before passing the buck to a three man commission.

    The FA are useless and they make sure that the “rules” they make up are also useless – anyone who deosn’t realise it is deliberate is a fool.

  5. Jack says:

    The problem started with the sudden withdrawal of funding – we were spending like a top 6 club (with top 4 wages!) with the infrastructure in place of a top half club… in league 1. Without any major source of income besides TV money and constant cash injections from Sacha Gaydamak it should have been obvious that the house of cards would have to fall sooner or later. That it was not immediately obvious – in fact, the suggestion that it would was actively laughed down – is testament to how much we can be seduced by money and success. The constant refrain from some people of “where has the money gone?” is equally ridiculous – we made substantial operating losses in every year of Gaydamak’s reign and had to pay off £30mn+ to Standard Bank last summer, amongst other debts. Storrie – who should be considered neither saint nor sinner in this debacle – tried his best to stabilise the club but without the constant loans and investment from Gaydamak it was basically not possible to do so with any success. The situation is akin to trying to pay off a mortgage on a mansion having just been reduced from the CEO of Microsoft to a software engineer at the same.

    That isn’t to absolve anyone from blame. Al Fahim clearly did not have the funds to run the club and it is hard to believe that Al Faraj is any better endowed – indeed, all evidence so far is to the contrary. It does not help that Al Faraj, Jacob and especially Daniel Azougy appear to be specifically and systematically stripping the club of any assets of value. We cannot even afford (if, and it is an enormous if, the Express can be believed) to hire out a storage container for our training equipment. This is a direct and avoidable consequence of years of financial mismanagement, underinvestment in infrastructure and an entirely unsustainable business model combined with an attitude from the current owners which appears entirely malign towards the long-term health of the club in favour of making a quick profit. This cannot go on. I am a lifelong Pompey supporter. I cannot be sure if, this time next year, I will be supporting a club that is even in the Football League.

  6. mick says:

    Touched upon above, but where were all the protesting fans when they were buying internationals like they were going out of fashion on gates of 20000??

    Live the dream by all means, but don’t whelp when the bill needs paying.

  7. Wurzel says:

    Far be it for me to suggest that this has any bearing on the Pompey situation, but a story from a year ago, another country, another team, some familiar names.

  8. They will just get reformed and start off in on league.

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