Portsmouth And The Longest Hangover
The story of the financial collapse of Portsmouth Football Club was a damning indictment upon the greed and mismanagement of English football, but as Pompey be pushed into became the first – and to date only – Premier League club to enter into administration, legal threats against investigating supporters became the new normal as the 2009 FA Cup winners tumbled down through the divisions.
A million miles removed from the opulent lives of the millionaire players and the neatly coiffured executives, the reality of Portsmouth’s financial desperation came home to roost. It didn’t, however, come home to roost for those that can afford it or those that are to blame for this whole sorry mess in which they find themselves.
Portsmouth beat Birmingham City 2-0 at Fratton Park yesterday afternoon to reach the FA Cup finals for the second time in three years. This in itself is a remarkable achievement considering the absolute chaos that is unfolding behind the scenes at the club, but it seems likely that any financial benefits from this will be the equivalent of applying a sticking plaster to a gaping wound.
It is, as if you hadn’t already noticed, open season on Portsmouth. There had been precious little sympathy for the supporters in the club in the media, but when it was confirmed that the club were back in court over a challenge by HMRC over the legitmacy of them placing themselves into adminstration, the gloves came off.
The mask now seems likely to slip. After seventeen years of wearing a mask of opulence and limitless wealth, the Premier League self-made reputation as The Richest League In The World will face its most severe test yet, as Portsmouth face the inevitable and collapse into administration.
Sulaiman Al-Fahim offered his resignation as a director of Portsmouth Football Club in a characteristically farcical fashion. Mark Murphy takes a look at this, and wonders aloud what his motives for such a decision could be. Suffice to say, he's not terribly...
According to the News Of The World, Sulaiman Al-Fahim has been sniffing around Portsmouth Football Club again but, as Mark Murphy reports, he has plenty else on his plate as well at the moment, though.
There are nine days until their big day in court, and Portsmouth are acting bullish. As they submit their statement of affairs to the court, though, what are the options available to the court if they can’t settle their tax debt in full?
“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.
Their website was closed for non-payment, there have been threats of resignation from Peter Storrie & Avram Grant and more protests are planned. Is there any way out of the current mess for Portsmouth that won’t result in absolute, final meltdown for the club.
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.
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.
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.
At first glance, Sulaiman Al-Fahim’s CV looks pretty impressive. Hold it up to any rigorous analysis, however, and it all starts to look a little more shaky. Mark Murphy is less than convinced.