Portsmouth: why they should suffer the consequences of their misadventure

Sunday, 14 February 2010


After a tough week for Pompey things finally began to look up as the week from hell came to a dramatic but uplifting conclusion on the south coast. The ‘crisis club’ faced their biggest rivals Southampton in yesterday’s lunchtime kick-off in the FA Cup, where they managed to see them off the Saints in a fantastic display of counterattacking football to claim a place in the Quarter Final of the FA Cup.

Despite their win Pompey’s problems are far from over. They appeared in the high court on Wednesday last fighting against a winding up order brought by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to which they owe £11.5million. Portsmouth have now been given just seven days to prepare a statement on their current financial affairs, but their real date with destiny is March 1st where the club could become no more.

After doing a Leeds and “living the dream” a cool breeze of harsh reality has finally hit Pompey, but the question is should other Premier League clubs bail them out?

According to reports this weekend the Premier League is said to be considering bringing forward the £11million parachute payment the club would receive if they were relegated at the end of the season, but to do this they need the backing of the 19 other teams in the division.

You have to remember this is a club which in 2008, their FA Cup winning season, earned £70million but still reported a loss of £17millon. Instead of building for the future like improving the facilities around Fratton Park, and upgrading the capacity of the stadium, Pompey were too busy spending money on players they didn’t need and paying them money they didn’t deserve to be earning. The example I always go back to is that of John Utaka who is said to be earning more per week that Cesc Fabregas.

Taking that into account, the problem the Premier League has is that it does not want a club to go into liquidation and cease trading as all their fixtures would become null and void. That would cause all sorts of problems and would have an impact on the league table also with many of the big clubs losing six points.

In my view, the Premier League should not help Pompey. In fact it should let them become the first Premier League club to go into administration. If they bail out one then if other clubs end up in similar circumstances in years to come they will be obliged to help them won’t they?

Instead, an example should be made out of Portsmouth, and that is not me being spiteful. In fact quite the opposite, you can’t condone handing £11million to a club who have run up countless debts, that is not addressing the real issue here. £11million is just save the club, there are still a lot of other people who need to be paid.

The south cost club has had four owners this season, which is equal to the number of wins they’ve had in the league. They owe former owner Sacha Gaydamak £31.5million, who actually still owns the land around Fratton Park.

Their current owner is Balram Chainari who is already looking to sell the club; he is another one of these shady characters who wouldn’t be trusted with running a paper round let alone a football club. I think if anyone is ever wondering how to run a football club you just have to look at Portsmouth and do the opposite to everything they do.

Sadly, Portsmouth and their various owners have been the masterminds of their own downfall and they deserve to suffer the consequences of it. That maybe be harsh but the truth hurts sometimes.

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Touchline Views

This is a football blog by Ian Walsh, covering all aspects of the game - from the Premier League and La Liga to the slightly mental football stories we all love.

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