Monday, 5 March 2012

New Website

Hi! thanks to all our readers we have now moved to our own site, come join us over there. PLAY UP POMPEY

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Chainrai or bust? Its plan B for me

Im no financial expert, I have read as much as I can to understand the situation at Pompey. I'd love anyone who knows more or can correct any of the below i'd love to hear from you.

So Chainrai has burst back on to the scene, as a potential saviour of the club. The reaction from some seems to be vitriolic. Well lets examine how he got involved in the club. When no-one else would loan Pompey any cash Chainrai would. This was of course not altruistic, he is a businessman with no emotional ties to Pompey. He is involved in the club to make profit. I dont know much about liquidation law, but surely he is less likely to get his investment back if the club folds? But he doesnt care as long as he gets his cash back. I dont begrudge him that. He is a businessman, and he made a loan that was obviously risky at the time (why else would the banks not loan us cash) it went wrong so now he is attempting to get back his investment – I dont see him as much of a villain as others (although have a look at my favourite Pompey writer SJ Maskell's excellent article to see why you might)

If, and its a big if, Chainrai's involvement can save the club from going into liquidation, what happens next? He does not want the club, he just wants his money. So presumably he does one of two things he sells the clubs assets and winds it up or he sells it on.

Picture the scenario he steadies the ship but Pompey are relegated he then finds from somewhere someone to buy the club. Lets say for arguments sake he is the stereotypical buyer of a championship club, say a Latvian millionaire, business investments in the states, 17th richest man in Latvia wealth estimated to be £200m, he has had a couple of business fail, and there was that investment in Austria that he was accused of avoiding the taxman, but he denies any wrong-doing. He then puts £5m into the club, talks of increased discussions with the fans and Pompey start league 1 4th favourites for promotion, as the managers of other clubs talk of our premier league experience as Hayden Mullins, TBH and Ashdown stay at the club. Gaydamark owns the land around Fratton Park, Chainrai is owned £17m and local businesses and charities are ripped off being repaid 3p in a £. The Pompey trust promise to do as much as possible to get a seat on the board and early conversations are positive. But as the year goes on Pompey fans being to forget the debt surrounding the club and settle into supporting their team once more, this chap doesnt seem so bad.

This is where and why I increasingly think Plan B is the way forward. This period of ownership has tainted our club and has demoralised the fans. Other fans look on us as a representation of all that is wrong with football currently and I am a bit sick that my club is the manifestation of this negativity, what is most likely to happen is Pompey get towards some sort of ugly status quo.

If I am being brutally honest, and I know this will not go down well with many fans, it is never going to be as good as it was in 2008, we are never going to have a team better than the Diarra, Johnson, Muntari, James, Playing Milan and winning the FA cup. We will keep going and we will love watching our team. Football is an unsustainable luxury, both for owners, the banks who loan them money and the supporters who are struggling in the economic climate. Within 5 years it wouldnt surprise me if a number of teams went under, the new Portsmouth football club (who incidentally I would just call Pompey) could be the trend setter, we could lead the way and join AFC Wimbledon and FC United as a club run by the fans and respected by other supporters, rather than watching a club flirting between Championship and league one, reminiscing about the late 2000s and always being associated with financial mismanagement.

It would be an exciting new adventure. Football is littered with clubs who have replaced previous clubs, who have morphed and changed names of clubs but have absorbed their histories, Woolwich Arsenal, Newton Heath and Pompey's predecessors the Royal Artillery Football Club just a number of examples. Having said all that, I would never want a Plan B team setup in an attempt to compete with a Chainrai owner Portsmouth FC. I say other than a rich Portsmouth fan buying the club, agreeing to a small percentage of fan ownership and much clearer accountability, I will never trust owners again and that will surely only damage my relationship with the club and the team. If you read Maskell's article and the interconnectedness of all of the dubious owners, management and administrators, it will only depress you more. I will always be a Pompey fan and I struggle to see a time when I wont watch the team, but in answer to administrator Birch's question Pompey or bust? I love our history and dont want to throw it away, but I am increasingly leaning towards bust.  

Friday, 2 March 2012

Going, going...

My days it is looking bleak isnt it?

Unfortunately we have a lot of experience of this situation and this seems worse than previously. Maybe our new administrator is just more realistic than Admin Andy, but Mr Birch is all over the media saying we are in real trouble, adding to that Appleton's statement that we may need to loan out further first team players and then even the self-publicist Howe saying Pompey are simply not a viable financial option. If players are loaned out then the chances of us staying up is even lower, if we are in league one surely there is even fewer chance of us getting a new owner.

I know this is a time for solidarity. Indeed some of the Pompey trust members were frustrated with our last article being vaguely critical of their actions. But i will reiterate Pompey fans now need to focus on Plan B. We can not afford Plan A, we can still await our knight in shinning armour, but lets starting focusing on that and letting Mr Birch keep up his search for a new owner.

I really hope that comes to pass, because the club feels incredibly cohesive at the moment. After the years of success there was inevitably a distance between the Pompey fans and the millionaires on the pitch, but in the years of Twitter and Captain Liam Lawrence leading the way in attempting to help the club out, and with Michael Appleton saying all the right things and having a very positive but difficult start to his managerial career - there is a nucleus of a good team. Lets get the club bought and get out of this mess and look at next season.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

1. Pompey saved my bacon

Perhaps the most inappropriate title ever, but Tony Restall's support of Pompey may have saved his life. He was working for the EU in Yemen. he and his bodyguard were dragged from their car by gun totting bandits who proceeded to rough the pair up until one observant hoodlum spotted the famous moon and crescent of Portsmouth FC - but his visual skills were far superior to his knowledge of English football and he misinterpreted the crest as an indication of Restall's Muslim faith. The evidently resourceful Pompey fan then blagged his way out of the situation convincing his aggressors that he was a white Muslim who was working for Islamic welfare in the country. I think Pompey are superior to Southampton in many ways, but I'd wager that even the most ardent scummer would admit being a Pompey fan would be preferable to being a saint in this situation! Interestingly the supposed reason why Pompey has the crest is that Richard the lion heart's fiancé was kidnapped by a Cypriot prince named Isaac. On one of his crusades Richard stopped off to free his beloved and as he defeated Issac was entitled to take his coat of arms, a blue flag with a yellow moon and crescent. On his return Richard gave the crest to the newly formed city of Portsmouth, a conurbation he was fond of, having spent a fortnight of the seven months he actually spent on the British isles, on Portsea island. However the Yemenese bandits were wrong to automatically associate the moon and crescent with their religion, the symbol predates the rise of Islam. So there.

2. Jack Tinn's lucky spatts

Jack Tinn took over Pompey in 1927. He took Pompey to THREE FA Cup finals, of course winning the cup in 1939. He left the club two decades later in 1947, so is credited as the man who built the foundations for the title winning teams.

The victory in 1939 bought the players a bonus of twenty pounds, apparently less than the pre-match band were paid for their contribution to the days entertainment.  And who did they have to thank for this windfall? well according to their gaffer at the time, it was all due to his lucky spatts. Not his post-match press conference clashes with journalists but curious sounding fabric shoe protectors which covered the ankles and some of the instep. But for whatever reason ol'Jack Tinn thought they bought him luck. As one of the most successful managers in Pompey's history who am i to argue?

Not that he was only superstitious member of the team. Winger Jimmy Guthrie had FIVE lucky charms. And he was a real devote to superstition because all of them made there way on to the pitch with him, a small horseshoe in his pocket, a sprig of white heather down each sock, a small white elephant tied to a garter and a lucky sixpence in his boot!