Tag: Portsmouth

Clearing Up A Few Loose Ends: Celtic, Portsmouth And (Briefly) Wednesday

It’s the football scandal of a generation. And it won’t go away. Colleen Rooney, photographed blatantly sipping a cool drink by a holiday swimming  pool… while there’s a recession on!! I mean not one single British passport holder anywhere else in the world has done that in the last week. As to whether that shite really does sell newspapers, that’s a debate for someone else to start. I don’t know enough to offer an informed opinion, so I won’t offer any opinion. Something for Mail columnist Martin Samuel to ponder next time he writes about Uefa’s “financial fair play” regulations.   But elsewhere in football, while the lenses and laptops have flitted back and forth across the M62, there have been one or two real scandals. I’m confident most of you will have someone say that “there’s no use arguing with referees, they won’t change their mind.” Well… wrong. And I’m not talking about Tom Huddlestone at Fulham, where referee Mike Read gave Spurs winner after the hulking Spurs midfielder suggested Read and his assistant ought to have a chat about the use of said assistant’s flag. At Fulham, Read had not decided whether Spurs’ William Gallas, standing in an offside position, was actually “offside” as per the laws of the game. Thus we had a remarkable situation. No, not Read’s discussion with his assistant before giving the goal....

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Brinkmanship: The Watchword For This Season

Some of you may have noted on Friday that, upon the release of news reports that Portsmouth were set to cease trading by this week if the club didn’t reach agreement with Sacha Gaydamak over repayment of his debts from the club, we didn’t pass any comment upon the subject. It wasn’t through a lack of interest in the ongoing story of the club’s fight for survival or because we didn’t feel that anybody else would have interest in it – it was because… we didn’t actually believe it. Last Friday was the second in a row that a press release promising the club’s imminent closure had found its way into the public domain and, after the week before’s false alarm, we weren’t getting drawn into that argument again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. These two Portsmouth stories (or, if you prefer, non-stories, because that is what they both essentially were) were further examples of the use of the media in the name of a word that has become rather more familiar over last few weeks or so that we might have expected – brinkmanship. One of the emerging fashions for this season seems to be football clubs showing off their shortcomings in the most public way possible, in the mass media. Considering that even Andrew Andronikou, a man that has seldom...

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The Torment Of Portsmouth Continues

With Liverpool having hogged the headlines over the last couple of weeks or so, it is easy to forget that there are other clubs in considerably greater trouble than they are at the moment. In Scotland, Dundee FC are understood to be on the brink (more on that in the next few days or so) and, at the other end of the country, it is starting to become that Portsmouth’s difficulties didn’t end with their successful court case against HMRC in August. Indeed, if the club’s adminstrator, Andrew Andronikou, is to be believed (and that is a different matter altogether), the club is back on the brink again after their failure to exit administration following the protracted agreement their proposed CVA during the summer. The current crisis involves the Football League’s refusal to return the club’s golden share and sanction their exit from administration. According to Anrdonikou, the League is insisting that Balram Chainrai’s Portpin company removes the security that it holds over Fratton Park for the loans that Chainrai put into the club last year in favour of the CVA payments that were agreed during the summer to stave off winding up proceedings that had been brought by HMRC. Chainrai remains the owner of the club, but it had been widely reported that he had no interest in taking this position in anything like the long term and...

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Match Of The Week: Stevenage 1-2 Portsmouth

How times change. This time last year, Portsmouth were preparing for the start of the Premier League season. The hints were already out there, that something was desperately, horribly wrong at Fratton Park, but few would have managed to guess just how bad things would get. Being the first Premier League club to enter into administration brought them a nine point deduction which all but guaranteed their relegation from the Premier League in March (although, as things turned out, they would have been relegated even without this deduction), and the consolation of an extraordinary run to the FA Cup final was only a transitory diversion from the greater prize of the club’s ongoing existence. The battle to keep the club alive was finally won last week, but the balloons from this particular party were starting to fall somewhat limp by late on Saturday afternoon, by which time some degree of the scale of the task facing new manager had been made clear by a fairly comprehensive 2-0 defeat in their opening match of the season in the Championship at the hands of Coventry City, during which the shortcomings in the squad brought out by the necessity of their administration were lain bare. Good support and good intentions can only get a football club so far, and the smell of dry rot still hung over Portsmouth on Saturday. Stevenage Borough,...

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