Portsmouth’s Five O’Clock Shadow Must Be Removed


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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13 Responses

  1. Martin says:

    It’s getting more like Chester last summer every day.

    What is the betting that Al-Faraj doesn’t actually exist?

    Good luck HMRC.

  2. RichardG says:

    Interesting. It almost seems as if the level of debt is being, in some way, engineered. Of course there’s no evidence of that, is there.

  3. Chris says:

    Portsmouth have only survived by cheating for years – avoiding taxes, buying players they never intended paying for and paying wages they couldn’t afford to pay. All the time they have been doing this, more honest clubs have been relegated and suffered tremendous financial hardship.

    It’s disgraceful that it’s taken action by HMRC rather than the football authorities to bring all these things to a head – the Premier League and the FA have stood by and allowed this wretched little club to damage many other clubs. They’d still be allowing it to continue, if HMRC hadn’t stepped in.

    Portsmouth should be closed down immediately and all their results wiped off the record. It’s harsh on their fans who’ve done nothing wrong, but the club’s behaviour and continued existence harsher on hundreds of thousands of fans of other clubs who’ve suffered because of Pompey’s corruption.

  4. RichardG says:

    I recall there was an interview with Joe Hart on 5-Live last week (I think). During this was asked about the Portsmouth case, discussed it briefly, and mentioned a player (don’t think he mentioned a name) who Birmingham were interested in and talked too, but they couldn’t afford the wages he’d been offered by Portsmouth. Now, of course, we know that Portsmouth couldn’t afford them either!

  5. Jack says:

    We haven’t ‘cheated for years’. We were not the first and will not be the last club to pay for players on instalments or use the financial resources of a wealthy benefactor to pay for players and wages. Whether that is right or wrong is neither here nor there – what is important is that virtually every Premier League club and 70% of Football League clubs are also reliant on a benefactor owner to survive. Remember that our problems started when the money ran out and the loans were called in. Yes, we were mismanaged and there are serious allegations of corruption around (not least the curious links between owners, which delve deeper than the media have picked up on yet) but all in all I don’t think this situation is at all peculiar to Portsmouth Football Club (although there’s a typical Pompey flavour to proceedings) but is an inevitable consequence of the benefactor / investor model of football. Bring on fans’ ownership.

    Bear in mind that I have absolutely no problem with any points deductions or the like and find our tax avoidance pretty distasteful to say the least. Given the stench of corruption around the place I also wouldn’t be averse to liquidation and starting again – frankly, I’ve had more than enough of the whole charade and I’d like to just follow a football team now.

  6. RichardG says:

    Well said Jack, absolutely spot.

  7. Martin says:

    Nice one Jack.

    How many other clubs with access to the Sky Premier League millions have gone into administration then?

    This “everyone else is as bad” just won’t wash as it’s simply not true. You are the worst example of financial mismanagement for decades. Take it on the chin and please stop the embarrassing squirming.

    I can only assume that if your house was on fire you wouldn’t worry about it as other houses have burnt down before…

  8. ejh says:

    You are the worst example of financial mismanagement for decades.

    This fails the “simply not true” requirement imposed by the previous sentence.

  9. Jack says:

    Like I said, the money ran out and lo and behold it turned out we couldn’t afford to sustain that team without continued investment from an owner. How many other Premier League teams have had two major funding sources (Gaydamak and the banks) halted within six months – indeed, how many have then had to repay a vast bank loan in one go? I’m not denying the mismanagement, it’s embarrassing and everyone who has ran the club over the last few years should never have anything to do with football again, but I’m not sure you can say that, at core, the way the club was run from 2006 until late 2008 when the money stopped was fundamentally different from an awful lot of other Premier League clubs.

    Your fire analogy is flawed (we’re not letting the house burn down, are we, fans are doing all we can to keep the club alive in some form and we’re hardly going down the oh well, not our fault route) – but, on the same lines, if one house burns down because it’s made of straw, that’s a disaster but explicable. If everyone else’s house is made of (maybe slightly less flammable) straw and they don’t fix it, well, you can see what’s coming. You can say we were mismanaged, and we were, horrifically – if you see a Pompey fan who says we weren’t they’re either lying or Peter Storrie (though that’s much the same thing) – and the people running the club should have been far more responsible. On the other hand, it’s easy to be complacent and trust that everyone else isn’t as stupid as Pompey but unless everyone else gets their act together and tries to solve the root cause of the problem it’s only going to happen again. Debt, financial mismanagement and a reliance on a limitless supply of sugar daddy owners all represent great evils within football today and we should be a warning of what lurks around the corner for an awful lot of people should the money run out.

  10. Martin says:

    How many other clubs have gone into administration whilst still having access to the £40m+ Sky money then?

    It is a complete disgrace.

  11. Wurzel says:

    Jack says Your fire analogy is flawed (we’re not letting the house burn down, are we, fans are doing all we can to keep the club alive in some form and we’re hardly going down the oh well, not our fault route)

    All you can.? How abut filling your ground every week instead of thousands of empty (no income) seats .It wouldn’t make a lot of difference you’re so deep in the you know what now but every little helps.

    And as for not going down the not our fault route, if I had the time I’d put links to the – probably in the 100s by now – posts I’ve seen on various Pompey forums and on the Pompey News Online comments, not to mention fans I’ve spoken to, all blaming the Premier League for your predicament. I’m still yet to work out exactly why? your fans are blaming them and how it is they’ve treated you any differently than any other club, but there is definitely a hell of a lot of your fans who don’t think it’s not PFCs fault they are in the situation they are in.

    And remind me, isn’t the current PFC only 10 years old after the previous one went into admin as well? Once could be classed as careless, unlucky, even unforeseen, but twice ! ????

  12. As Jack rightly points out, Portsmouth’s situation is a symptom of the greater problems in football (especially top-flight football), and the fans are once again blameless – with the money involved at this level, supporter intervention is impossible (in fact it’s almost impossible everywhere). The only surprise is that somehow these teams have been bumbling along for years, begging, borrowing and (dare I say it) stealing to fuel the egos of a select few rich men at the top, and yet Portsmouth are the first to actually enter admin whilst in the Premier League. And while Martin is right to point out that Portsmouth are the biggest fuck-up in recent years, the cases of Bradford City, Leeds United, Southampton, more recently Crystal Palace et al show that Portsmouth aren’t alone in their misdoings. The timing of the admin is all that’s different.

    I would like to know which teams Martin thinks are doing things the right way – and then perhaps we could enlighten him (for there are none).

  13. Alan J says:

    There would be a clearly conflict of interests if the administrator was seen to be acting in favour of indebted club rather than its creditors.

    That line made me laugh…as a Swindon fan,we had Mr Anderonikou as our administrator, and for the last 12 months or so, until we were sold to our current owners, Mr Andronikou spent all his time acting in favour of our club and NOT in the creditors best interests. The final part of our CVA payment, £900k which was due in June ’07, was delayed as the then owners openly admitted they hadn’t the money to pay it, yet AA refused to call a creditors meeting, despite the creditors committee requesting one.

    Instead he backed the then owners, who said they had been having talks with mysterious backers, which hardly saw they light of day.

    This is a quote from May’ 07 :

    Quote from: Andronikou boasting about new mystery investors who never materialised date=15th May 2007
    ‘I have information in my hands that the club are very close to agreeing a deal to secure the long term future of the club, this would deal with the CVA as well. It’s brilliant news. I am championing the cause and something could be announced within the next three to four weeks’.

    And from Sep ’07 :

    Quote from: Swindon Advertiser reporting Andronikou on how well he’d done with the BEST takeover date=11 Sept 2007
    Town’s administrator is confident the payment of the outstanding £1.2million Company Voluntary Arrangement is now a formality, with wealthy Portuguese investors about to secure the club’s long-term future.

    BEST Holdings were a group of Portuguese ‘investors’, who pulled out within weeks,who never put a penny in, but made us sign 3 players, who we had to pay off in the end, because they were, at best (pardon the pun!!) crap.

    When the club was eventually sold, HMRC was owen another £3.3m, due to the club not paying any tax or VAT for 18 months!!

    And while the final payment of the CVA payment was paid to Mr Andronikou to pay out to the creditors over a year ago, the club has yet to be released from the CVA as of a few days ago.

    And yet the national press has been saying that he saved us in 2002 and 2007…yet it couldn’t be further from the truth!!

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