Tag: Portsmouth

Time Is Running Out For Portsmouth To Avoid Another Relegation

It all starts, as the best laid plans of mice and men so often do, on a whim. The original choice was to head for the coast of West Sussex for a match in the Ryman League Premier Division between Bognor Regis Town and Hastings United, but as the train headed out through the West Sussex countryside an idea struck us that resulted in a sudden and unexpected change of plan. “Hang on, are Portsmouth at home this afternoon?” is the sort of question that raises more questions than anything else. Can you get tickets on the gate? Is Fratton Park easy to get to from the nearest railway station? Is that nearest railway station, Fratton, actually as close to the ground as it sounds as if it should be, or might the name of the club’s home be a sophisticated trick of some description? Travelling in from Sussex makes finding Fratton Park easy. As the train rolls westward through Chichester, it starts to fill with people wearing blue and white, and the ground turns out to only be a short walk from the railway station. There is something fundamentally contradictory about the ground and its location. Fratton Park is a traditional English football ground, situated, as so many grounds built at the end of the nineteenth century were, a short walk from the railway station. It has been...

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Bizarre PR In The Pompey Blogger Case

‘I stand by my story and will fight them every step of the way.’ Micah Hall, the Pompey blogger whose work is at the centre of the suit placed on Fansnetwork last week has now received an opportunity to defend his work. A letter from libel-specialist lawyers Mishcon de Reya accusing him of defamation in his blog on Kuala Lumpar financier Pascal Najadi, one of Keith Harris’ ‘passive backers’ in his failed bid for the ownership of Portsmouth FC. Hall is now able to rebut the allegations of defamation made against him. In a development of their action to inhibit criticism against their client, Mishcon have moved on from targetting the publishing website, who appear to have not responded other than removing the blog in question from their site, to the author of the piece. It would seem that Mishcon have failed to get Fansnetwork to accept liability, and we we will have to wait and see whether proceedings are actually brought against them. Hall, on the other hand, is happy to take on this fight and is consulting lawyers with his rebuttal. He is confident he can back the contents of the blog with sources that are not only a matter of public record but also backed by as yet unpublished information. Mishcon de Reya are, of course, experts in this much-criticised legal area. They have a strong...

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SLAPPS For Pompey Bloggers

Those amongst us that occasionally doubt the power the most vocal of football bloggers seldom pause to consider the lengths that some people go to in order to prevent them having their say. This is a story that will ring bells in a number of clubs around the country. Fans of Leeds United, Birmingham City, Liverpool and Doncaster Rovers have all experienced some or all of the pressures we have felt at Pompey. In the last few weeks, however, events on the South Coast have begun to move in a different and troubling direction. Not only have abuse and spurious counter-arguments posted via social networking sites and by telephone been reported, but now threats of legal action have also been brought into play. Yesterday (26th February) the Portsmouth Evening News carried a small News item: INTERNET fan site fansnetwork.co.uk is being taken to court over a blog it published last week by Pompey fan Mike Hall. Lawyers acting for investment banker Pascal Najadi, part of the Harris consortium, say defamation action will take place as no apology has been issued by the website, though the blog has been removed. Fansnetwork.co.uk declined to comment. Micah Hall has been a strong voice of criticism regarding the calamitous ownership of Pompey since Balram Chainrai and Levi Kushnir became involved in October 2009.  He has been posting on Fans Network for some considerable...

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Good News: Portpin Threaten Football League Over Pompey Deal

At first glance it seemed like bad news. Another spanner in the Pompey Trust bid for ownership of the club. Balram Chainrai’s Portpin are not happy at the Football League’s rejection of the Keith Harris bid for Pompey. On Friday 22 Februaury the BBC website reported: Portpin claims the Harris bid would mean it received £6.3m for the stadium, as opposed to the £3m currently being offered by the PST. It claims ruling out consideration of other offers “unlawfully limits the ability of the administrator to fulfil its role in securing the best terms for creditors”. And Portpin has warned that if alternative bids are not considered, the League “will leave itself exposed to legal action for damages from creditors which could amount to millions of pounds”. A spokesperson from Portpin added: “We have made clear that we are agnostic as to the source of the solution for Portsmouth Football Club and welcome whichever bid offers both the best deal for the creditors of the club and provides the highest degree of certainty for the supporters in bringing Portsmouth out of administration. “There are now at least two offers for the club, one from the Supporters Trust and one from a consortium which includes Keith Harris, and legally they must both be considered on their merit. “After more than a year of uncertainty, this process must be brought to a...

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Pompey: Where the Bids Come From

There has been a rare old tussle going on down Pompey way this last week. In microcosm our beleagured club continues to be a perfect illustration of all that is questionable about football governance as it currently stands. On 7 February it appeared that the long running Pompey Supporters’ Trust bid to buy the club was about to be scuppered by a consortium led by Keith Harris. The Trust are awaiting the outcome of a frequently postponed court hearing to determine the value of Fratton Park before they can proceed with finalising the purchase of the club. Administrators’ PKF and charge holder Portpin have been playing cat-and-mouse over this case since last December. The Trust are offering Portpin £3m. Portpin want considerably more. A week before a hearing to fix the date of the case, the Trust were informed of Harris’ bid. Harris had cobbled together a pair of ‘passive investors’ , vet Alan Hitchins and  Financier Pascal Najadi along with two would-be executive directors, ex-Swansea Steve Hamer and ex-Pompey (of Hiroshima fame) John Redgate. Despite Harris stating, straight faced, that his consortium broke all links with the past, he was immediately contradicted by his own plan. This was to lease back Fratton Park from the current charge holder, Portpin, thereby avoiding the need for a court case. Harris claimed he would be purchasing the ground at a later date. He then declared that...

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