As football sinks further and further into the financial mire, the official statements made by clubs themselves are becoming more and more odd, and more and more telling. Mark Murphy has been looking at some of these statements, and is less than convinced by them.
“In the future”, said Andy Warhol in 1968, “everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”. It is tempting to look at Portsmouth’s ownership record over the last year or so and arrive at the conclusion that they are trying some Warholian philosophy in their ownership policy, but the truth is somewhat more prosaic than this.
The game is starting to smell rotten from the inside out, and this smell is starting to become all-pervasive to the extent that even those that have been trying to avoid the smell or don’t have a particularly strong sense of smell are starting to notice it.
Coventry City vs Portsmouth in an FA Cup Third Round Replay tonight, live and exclusive on ITV4 – the full lethargy of the cup brought into sharp focus on a bitter night in the Midlands.
Sacha Gaydamak has been giving his side of the story as Portsmouth sink deeper and deeper into the mire, but how reliable are his recollections? Mark Murphy has a look at what he has been saying.
The cold air that is whistling through football isn’t solely as a result of the recent wintry weather. HMRC are on the move, and their aim is to recoup taxpayers’ money from football clubs that haven’t been paying their bills.
Portsmouth are due in court in February over an unpaid tax bill. The club states that HMRC are being unfair, but is this merely more bluster to cover up the fact that their club is hopelessly insolvent, and even if they get through this, how might they cope with relegation?
Mark Murphy returns to one of his pet subjects today, and has a few questions to ask about why, with the news that the players’ wages weren’t paid on time again at the end of last month, Portsmouth’s situation doesn’t appear to have changed much for the better under their new owner.
Portsmouth’s decision to sack Paul Hart hasn’t exactly been a surprise, but the paucity of high calibre names being chosen to replace him betrays their current position. Will they go for someone that lasted just a season at Chelsea or a manager who couldn’t cope with life in the Championship?
Sulaiman Al-Fahim has been getting out in the press, and a recent interview with a pan-Arab business magazine caused Mark Murphy to get all hot under the collar again. He dissects what Al-Fahim said, and has compared it with what we understand has been going on at Fratton Park recently.
Mark Murphy thinks that he might have discovered that the recent rash of football club takeovers may be a sting concocted by the News Of The World to show up the football authorities’ Fit & Proper Persons Test for what it is. Is the most rational explanation, isn’t it?
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss? Sulaiman Al-Fahim overcame his kidney stones just in time to offload Portsmouth Football Club earlier this week, and Mark Murphy has managed to find the time to remind him not to allow the door smack him on the backside on the way out.
With Peter Storrie openly admitting that the money has run out, the players either getting paid late or not getting paid at all and Sulaiman Al Fahim now having apparently been admitted to hospital, the situation at Fratton Park seems to be unravelling with each passing day.
The “Fit & Proper Persons” test is supposed to weed undesirable types out from owning football clubs. Mark Murphy is less than convinced that it is doing its job properly, and he has some examples featuring names that you may be familiar with.