- The Danger isn’t just Administration, it’s Liquidation.
- £22m-£26m required to see out season.
As fans of football, we never want there to be less football clubs around. As simple as that sounds, it makes perfect sense to leave it at that. The Premier League that we all love, follow and obsess over stands in line for a pretty embarrassing black eye if they can’t implement some form of lifeline to the South Coast club who stand literally inches from no longer existing.
To lament over the club’s financial woes and ownership issues, the Premier League’s Fit and Proper Test, or the mismanagement of funds, wages, transfers and bonuses, would easily become redundant. At this point in the play, the characters have all been developed, the heroes and villains have all been identified and the red herrings have come and gone with no lasting effect on the conclusion.
The existence or dissolution of the 2008 FA Cup Champions hangs on a knife edge. As the Premier League scramble their resources in hopes of securing the future of such a storied club, 19 other top-flight teams watch with a weary eye on the developments. Some watching with an anxious tension as they determine how to make up a point loss, others watch with an excited disposition as they could take a step closer in the standings of their rivals.
The Premier League led by Chief Executive Richard Scudamore will ask rival teams of Portsmouth if they disapprove in Portsmouth receiving an advance of their parachute payment in order to pay an immediate payment to the taxman. While the impending relegation of Portsmouth will be considered a minor victory in the grand scheme of the club surviving, relegation-fighting clubs close to Pompey in the table may cry foul. The other 19 Premier League clubs all have at least something at stake if Pompey cease to exist. If the unthinkable were to happen in the world’s richest league, any results, points gained, or even goals scored would be wiped out.
At the top of the table, Chelsea would lose 3 points while title defending and title chasing Manchester United would lose 6. Wayne Rooney, the versatile English striker who’s having the season of his life thus far would stand to lose credit for 4 goals in pursuit of his first golden boot award.
The other teams who have played Portsmouth twice resulting in both games won and also losing out on 6 points are: Arsenal, Manchester City, and Fulham. West Ham United would lose 4 points and Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Bolton, Everton, Tottenham, Stoke City and Blackburn would lose 3. Sunderland would lose 2 points and Hull City would lose 1. Liverpool, Wigan, Burnley and Wolves points would be unaffected.
To me, it seems Scudamore has made it abundantly clear that Portsmouth are receiving no special treatment in their fight for survival. He’s only advancing the funds that they were due anyway in anticipation that they’ll see out their remaining fixtures for the 2009-2010 season and avoid ridicule from opponents of the Premier League the world over. There’s still uncertainty in the survival of Portsmouth Football Club, but what’s certain is that other Premier League clubs now have vested interest in Portsmouth’s liquidation.
I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that in no way, shape or form do I want Portsmouth to vanish. As an American supporter of one of the top 4 teams in England, the affections I have for the lowly south coast club are a washing of my sins of sorts. The current crop of Portsmouth players have been nothing short of brave hearts in recent weeks as they continue to battle on the field and look to be playing as if they’re in the thick of the title race. The results haven’t been in Pompey’s favor in recent matches, but the performances of the players have been something to admire. The supporters of Portsmouth deserve better. They’re the innocent children in this drama of divorced, squabbling parents.
Even though other Premier Clubs have something to lose or gain, the ultimate fate of Pompey is still unknown. What is known is that football, the Premier League and England will lose something special and will need to take a step back in the future to assure a club in the world’s richest league never dies again.
Author’s Note: Bloody Confused! A Clueless American Sportswriter Seeks Solace in English Soccer comes highly recommended. It follows Portsmouth through a recent season while the author falls in love with the charm of Pompey.