Tag: Portsmouth

The Dog Returns to the Pompey Manger.

You have to admire the stoicism of football fans. No matter how much the parameters of the game are manipulated to the advantage of those with little emotional investment in our clubs we continue to process through the turnstiles. We tolerate being frisked for lethal bottle tops and are directed to seats where we are ordered to sit down and play nice. The money we pay goes who-knows-where? Given the loose regulation of the business of the game and the range of people passed as fit and proper to own a club we are expected to improve the finances of anyone from arms dealers through owners of unregulated financial institutions to nice philanthropic gentlemen. Except we don’t get to choose. In some cases we don’t even know who they are – eh Ken? Its laissez-fair all the way to the bank or the insolvency courts. Like it or lump it.  So again at Pompey the return of the most reluctant  owner of a business since Basil Fawlty is welcomed by many with relief and the hope that this time the magic beans will take root and flourish. Maybe the dog will let a little more of the grain dribble out of the manger this time. How many times? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me … fool me three times? Money for old rope....

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Greg Clarke: A Bit of A Dinlow Moment?

‘Dinlow’ is proper Pompey. It is used, often affectionately, to someone who has said or done something idiotic. If Greg Clarke has not been a ‘bit of a din’ in his statement regarding Portsmouth Football Club yesterday then he is guilty of being either over-simplistic or disingenuous, I feel. He certainly hasn’t helped the odds on the survival of the club. He has, very kindly, ‘warned Portsmouth he fears they are on the verge of liquidation,’ according to Sky Sports. Well, no sugar Sherlock! Down at Pompey we are wondering if Clarke has been residing on another planet for a while. ‘The debts at that club are immense, we are talking tens of millions of pounds,’ the erudite Clarke continued. This the same erudite man on whose watch the FL passed the erstwhile Vladimir Antonov as a fit and proper owner for Portsmouth Football club; Antonov who was shot at by Chechens, refused a banking licence by the FSA, with whom General Motors would not trade and who now awaits extradition from the UK to face charges of alleged money laundering and fraud in Lithuania. Mr Clarke told the Government Enquiry into football governance in February last year that, ‘If I had to list the 10 things about football that keep me awake at night, it would be debt one to 10.’ Pompey fans could say the same. Mr Clarke...

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Peter Storrie vs The Pompey Community Share Scheme: Is This The Supporters Choice?

If there is one lesson that can surely be taken from the last few years of the subsistence of Portsmouth Football Club, it must surely be that this, perhaps above all other clubs, is the one that defines everything that is wrong with football club ownership in this country at this time. This is the club at which wages far above and beyond a level that could ever reasonably maintained and which eventually found itself eventually being kicked from pillar to post as speculators from across the world, none of whom had any previous connection with the club and who, we can be reasonably certain, were primarily interested only in the possibility of that elusive pot of gold at the end of the Premier League rainbow, walked away scot-free as the club bumped from crisis to crisis. This is the football club that failed twice in two years, which demonstrated the inefficacy of this country’s insolvency laws in doing anything but absolving serial debtors from their responsibilities and making it easy for them to do so. It is also the club which now, at its lowest ebb, at the point at which a sizable number of its own supporters are arriving at the opinion that it this is incarnation of it is a busted flush and that the most sensible thing to do might be to walk away from...

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PR Overdrive at Pompey

Ignore the hype. Ignore the sad hypocrisy of the crocodile tears and the valiant claims such as “I will not allow this historic club to go out of business,” emanating from the biggest vested interest of them all. Translate the  sentence. It reads, “I will not allow my front loaded debt to go down the drain.” Balram Chainrai is on a ‘charm offensive’. He has bought himself acres of publicity this weekend in order to yet again paint himself as the victim of circumstances, a reluctant owner, whose sentimental attachment to our battered old club prevents him from allowing it to finally be put out of its misery. You wouldn’t do to an old dog what Chainrai is prepared to do to Pompey. These tears over the twitching corpse would make even Ken Bates pause and check the credibility monitor. Pompey has been on death row since September 2009 when the unholy struggle for control of the club, orchestrated by the recently re-emerging Peter Storrie, began. Between October 2009 and January 2010 Balram Chainrai’s Portpin had attained a £17m charge on all Portsmouth Football Club assets for loans to the club’s then owners, Falcondrone. Falcondrone hid its identity off shore, behind the mirage of Ali Al Faraj. Pompey fans uncovered an alliance of Israeli business connections behind this supposedly Saudi front. No Bank would lend the club money at the point in...

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On The Brink: Pay Up Pompey, Pompey Pay Up

How on earth did it come to this again? Two years ago, Portsmouth Football Club became the poster boys for football’s wretched current condition when they became the first Premier League club to be nudged into administration. For all the heartache that this caused, the club was due to be getting a clean start with this move – a move which, it should be remembered, sealed the club’s fate with regard to relegation from the Premier League in the first place – but it has only taken two years to get back to administration again, and this time the feeling in the air around Fratton Park has a distinctly fatalistic mood about it. Administrator Trevor Birch of  the PKF group, the court-appointed administrators for Portsmouth Football Club this time around, put the matter in the starkest possible terms in his statement on the club’s current position yesterday. “We had previously stated that there was a real danger of the club running out of cash before the end of the season.”, he said, “The more we uncover, the worse the picture appears to get.” He did reappear in the press today to quash a little confusion over the suggestion that parachute payments which are being advanced by the Premier League would be ending up going to former owner Sacha Gaydamak. “The issue is that a mechanism was put in place by...

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