Portsmouth Evade The Taxman’s Net


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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10 Responses

  1. Leon Tricker says:

    Great article, and I agree with you all the way. Thank you for being so balanced. And as for Allardyce… words fail me.

    The money outstanding to local businesses and charities will leave a bad taste for years to come. The majority of Pompey’s hundreds of creditors are owed relatively small sums of money. A few hundred or a few thousand pounds each, but sums of money that mean a lot to those individuals. I can’t remember the exact statistics, but basically if you add up what all of those small creditors are owed, the total is a tiny fraction of Pompey’s overll debt. Someone – Gaydamak, Storrie, Fahimm, Chainrai – could and should just pay that money back. It’s pennies compared to the overall debt.

    I am pretty confident that Pompey fans wont be calling for ‘star players’ anytime soon. Indeed, I think if such a transfer was on the cards you’d get an outcry of ‘how can we aford this; how much are they getting paid?’ etc. I hope that the club will be transparent about contracts when we do bring new players in so that the trust between club and fans can be rebuilt.

    There is a grass roots movement underway within the city, and real attempts by fans to form some kind of united front. I’m not involved in this (yet) but it seems unfortunate to me that other fans are sceptical of the motives of the people involved in things like the Pompey Trust. You’d think in these bad times, we’d ll be in it together…

    But then I do wonder what/who our real fan base is. It will be interesting to see what attendences are like this season. I know people are disillusioned with the club and money is tight at the moment. But remember even in the ‘good times’ we didn’t sell out Fratton Park, and some of our cup gates have been embarassing in recent years. As for Linvoy Primus’ recent testimonial… I think that the 6,000 that turned up gives you an indication of how many ‘die hard’ fans we actually have.

    I mention this because, y’know, we kind of need people turning up week-in week-out. We need the money!

  2. Martin says:

    Allardyce’s comments should be sent to BBC Sport’s Quotes of the Week. What a weapon that man is.

  3. John says:

    What or who is Portsmouth Football Club, or any other club for that matter? Some will say it’s the owner who owns the club and decides how much money to invest. Others will argue that the fan base is the real club. When it comes to insolvency, incompetence, and gross mis-management, who do you blame and who do you punish.

    In the case of Portsmouth Football club, you can point the finger of blame at just about anyone, but it appears much more difficult to find someone to punish.

    The FA must shoulder there share of blame for allowing a succession of odd-ball (and in some cases, penniless)characters to pass their fit and proper persons test. You can blame that succession of odd ball characters for thinking they can own and run a Premier league football club when they can hardly raise a brass farthing to fund it. You could argue Harry Rednap has to shoulder his share of the blame, for letting his ego get in the way of asking crucial questions like, where is all this transfer money coming from on gates of 20,000. You can also blame the fans for climbing aboard the merry go round, living the dream, and turning a blind eye to the inevitable consequences. You could even say the taxman was at fault for allowing Pompey to build up such massive tax debts when it was obviously going through difficult financial times.

    At the end of the day, the taxman was hamstrung by a judge who effectively passed the buck on certain tax procedures that look decidely shady. The FA are hardly likely to blame themselves. The odd-ball characters have melted away. Harry’s ego still insists none of this was his fault, and tha fans are left to pick up the pieces.

    Next year it might be someone else, and the whole blame/punishment question will come round again. This year it was little old Portsmouth. Next year it might be one of the big clubs with HUGE (but serviceable, at the moment) debts, that make Pompey’s debts look like chicken feed. One insolvent premier club was unfortunate, but two would most certainly look like someone has to carry the can.

  4. Jack says:

    Whilst the actions of those in charge of the club have been rightly condemned, you might want to add the many good things that Portsmouth supporters have done – repaying in full charities affected by the CVA, for example, and the recent changes to Premier League ownership rules are in part thanks to the efforts of the Pompey fans’ group who met with Richard Scudamore in February of this year. If the club’s reputation rests in part on the actions of supporters, after all, it would be nice if such actions were acknowledged.

  5. Martin says:

    Portsmouth fans will do NOTHING to see those who defrauded us all of millions brought to justice.

    They will just sit back in relief and enjoy the football again, just as many have in similar circumstances at Leeds, Bournemouth, Rotherham and Palace too.

    Football has learned nothing and with Chanrai in charge neither has Portsmouth.

  6. Rob says:

    @John: “The FA must shoulder there share of blame for allowing a succession of odd-ball (and in some cases, penniless)characters to pass their fit and proper persons test. ”

    Surely with the amount of money clubs in the Premier League generate, they should be self sufficient, and therefore not need more investment from their owner?

    @Martin:”Football has learned nothing and with Chanrai in charge neither has Portsmouth.”

    On the contrary, Martin, “football” has learned a lot, just like it did from the Leeds, Bournemouth and Rotherham cases. It just won’t have learned what we would have wanted it to have learned.

  7. Martin says:

    Nice pedantry Rob :)

  8. Rob says:

    Not really pedantry – we, as fans want the clubs, the administrators, the leagues to learn from those administrations, so as clubs don’t end up in those positions again. Whereas certain club owners will be looking at those administrations for ways to screw the system in their favour even more.

  9. Jack says:

    Martin – Portsmouth fans have, on the contrary, led a campaign for the administrators or a new owner to investigate past misdeeds (and reacted with outrage when it was suggested this mightn’t go ahead), were amongst the first to dig deeply into the Al Faraj saga and there are an awful lot of fans who would rather not go to Fratton Park than support Chanrai’s ownership of the club. Whilst I do love a bit of healthy cynicism, you might nevertheless want to base it on facts rather than blasé assumptions. No-one at Pompey is keen to let anyone get away with anything.

  10. Martin says:

    Well Jack, we’ll see how much actually happens as opposed to your empty rhetoric now that it is in everyone’s interest to brush everything under the carpet.

    Redknapp, Storrie and Mandaric being convicted of tax fraud in the Autumn would be a good start.

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