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Pay Up Pompey, Pompey Pay Up

portsmouth sale 300x180 Pay Up Pompey, Pompey Pay Up

Maybe they can sell that sign for a bit of money

I hope this is not out of my bounds, but seeing as I’ve recently covered the play-off race (and will be analysing heavily when the places are decided) and I will prefer to go in depth on the relegation battle next week when we have a thrilling last day encounter between Sheffield Wednesday V Crystal Palace (All to play for! If you’re a neutral you will most certainly be hoping for a last day thrill there, although it’s never nice to see teams go down), I thought I’d talk about a team that will be joining the Championship next season – Portsmouth. A team that have been in the news all season for their financial difficulties have now fully revelead the extent of the £120m they owe to others. The fundamental problem here isn’t with Pompey or the fans – it’s the league. We’ve seen a similar situation with governments and even countries lately.

Back in 2005, Peter Storrie, who must now be sitting on his piles of cash at home enjoying early retirement, claimed that the club could be debt free. The thing is though, Storrie knew what he was doing all along, he saw a flawed system and knew how to exploit it and ultimately the damage has been done and who has benefited from it? The rich who can just move on. Instead the fans now suffer and see their squad depleted and they could be in huge danger of being relegated again from the Championship next season. Storrie is a man who even managed to take people for that much of a fool so he could get win bonuses. That’s a man who doesn’t really have any great impact on a match day, yet he some how got thousands of pounds given to him for sitting around in a suit and watching football.

The part that makes Pompey’s situation so bad is the fact there is no consequence for what they have done. Sure, this is a club that’s got a point deduction, has had to sell off a number of players and has been relegated from the Premiership, but think about all those people who lost their job because some guys in suits wanted to earn some easy money. All these people down the chain are now out of work and the fans are looking at their club spiralling out of control. They’ve let Pompey build up all this risk and now, as ever, the lowest on the chain suffer while the rich can chalk it off and take their winnings from the gamble. What isn’t really mentioned enough in the media is how Portsmouth’s debt is like a nuclear explosion because it’s not just Pompey that are now in debt, but a number of services and businesses.

When you see Pompey now owe local schools and St. John’s ambulance service thousands of pounds it makes you a bit sick really because now the tax payer has to pick up the bill and there’s nothing we can do about it. They owe Tottenham £1 million for a deal that never actually happend and former players ridiculous win bonuses, which is more money than they could ever need. Harry Redknapp is another guilty party that has merely wiped his hands clean and now sits happily in another high paid job where he receives nothing but praise. I know some people comment ‘he’s not in charge of the money – it’s not his fault’ but in truth it is, because if he told Peter Storrie that he needs a player and his demands are £90,000 a week or so then that means he was a part of the problem and the fact that he’s a manager pretty much known for tax evasion and taking bungs, then that gives me all the information I need to let me know he was an accessory.

Pompey had a lot of time to stay out of administration despite the fact it was always coming, and were unfairly able to delay a winding up order so they could survive that little bit longer. The fact is, I shouldn’t be writing things like saying we need greater punishments for things like this because there should be rules to stop it happening in the first place and prevent people like Storrie from being involved in football. It’s the same mentality with the major banks that have been bailed out and like them Portsmouth’s status means they are ‘too big to fail’. It’s especially not fair on clubs that act sensible and spend within their means because they can rarely hope for successes like Portsmouth have recently had, but they don’t build up massive amounts of risk and then effectively be bailed out by the league. They’ve bent the rules for Portsmouth despite the fact its their fault they’re in debt and overall the league has pretty much bent over backwards and there’s no chance we’ll see rules put in place to make sure these sort of things don’t happen because the FA and Premier League powers are worried that their competition won’t seem as appealing and they probably wouldn’t get the high amounts of money they get now.

It’s all a fix by the powers that be and those with control, it’s becoming more and more apparent that the fan comes last in football and instead what we get is a load of fat cats who have moved in to exploit something that should be all about the people that turn up to watch their team. I understand that its necessary for football clubs to act a bit more like a business, but how is it that Portsmouth fans never knew that Peter Storrie was getting win bonuses until recently? I’m pretty sure if they knew that and had power, the fans would not want Storrie at their club, yet instead they never knew a thing and the team they love and support has effectively been gutted without little realisation. If you think this season has been bad and relegation to the Championship was the worst of it, then this is only the beginning.

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5 Responses to Pay Up Pompey, Pompey Pay Up

  1. Anthony Jameson says:

    “The part that makes Pompey’s situation so bad is the fact there is no consequence for what they have done. Sure, this is a club that’s got a point deduction, has had to sell off a number of players and has been relegated from the Premiership,”

    You say there have been no consequences, and then list several. What do you want to happen? A ceremonial with they guy with the silly hat and the drums put in the stocks for people to throw rotten fruit at him?

    “It’s especially not fair on clubs that act sensible and spend within their means because they can rarely hope for successes like Portsmouth have recently had”

    How many games did Crouch, Defoe, Kranjcar, Muntari, Diarra, or Johnson play in Pompey’s Cup run this season? A fair point for 2007 perhaps, but an irrelevance now.

    “Pompey had a lot of time to stay out of administration despite the fact it was always coming, and were unfairly able to delay a winding up order”

    The club disputes, in the High Court, the HMRC tallying of the sum owed. That isn’t “unfair”, that’s due legal process. It happens all the time – Cardiff, Southend and Notts County were all in Court the same day as Pompey last time doing exactly the same thing.

    “They’ve bent the rules for Portsmouth”

    Who’s “they”, and specifically, “how”? There is a legal process relating to the HMRC debt, which many clubs have been through lately, and there is an Administration process which so far has proceeded in exactly the manner required by the High Court, again as happens elsewhere.

    It really is illogical to say “the problem is with the League” (and no sane person would disagree with you) but claim that “the rules have been bent for Pompey” and demand that something is done about them.

  2. Rob McCluskey says:

    Theres no real consequences, its like the bank situation, they’ve built up all this risk and debt and in the end they’re given TV money early, allowed to sell players outside the transfer window and if any other company did that they would fold. Look at Chester and Farsley Celtic, they were in debt but did they get as much help? Nope, they both now don’t exist. Lots of people have lost their jobs while they pay Avram Grant thousands of pounds at the moment and all the rich people can just chalk it off.

    You’ve got clubs that are spending sensibly and know how to controll their debts and the fact that clubs in England can effectively self regulate themselves is ridiculous, just like with the banks again, you have no regulation then people high up are just going to build up even more risk and gamble more money and it just ends with people lower down losing their job and people having to pick up the cheque through their tax money. What they’re doing is basically criminal, they should effectively be put in prison for it.

    And the whole process of the wind up was a joke, other clubs are out paying their taxes and Portsmouth were a Premier league club and theres no way you can justify the fact they didn’t pay taxes but instead players are getting all that money. And then they turn up and theres just the excuse that they have new owners (for about the 10th time or whatever) so they need more time to sort things out and instead they’ll have to make a settlement which is too sympathetic.

    And “they” refers to The Premier League, they’ve handled the situation terribly, they badly need to regulate money in the game before English football goes to the dogs, the price of being in the league is ridiculous and you look at West Brom who have pretty much spent wisely but can’t stay in the Premiership because they don’t want to build up the risk.

    It’s horrible how administration is happening all too frequently, it’s almost a normal thing now. Clubs shouldnt be ‘too big to fail’ because it lets them get away with things like what Portsmouth have done.

  3. Sue says:

    Trading whilst insolvent is illegal. How come they were able to afford two players (loan fees etc.) in the January window when they already owed (to take just one example) over £10 Million pounds to HMRC?

    At least worried Championship fans will know at least one of the relegation berths will already have been booked: unless of course Portsmouth go pop after the FA Cup final or end up in the Blue Square after failing to get their golden share.

  4. Martyn says:

    Pompey never recieved their parachute payment early, they never even asked to. The press speculated what the Premier League might do to help one of its own and came up with this idea then the Premier League made inquiries into the possibilities that were immediately shot down by the other Premier League Clubs and that was it.

    Pompey were not allowed a longer time than anyone else to stay out of administration, it was their choice and no one elses just as other clubs choose to go into administration when they need to or want. Sulamien Al Fahim and Ali Al Faraj should have placed the club in administration more or less straight away but didn’t and continued to spend money they didn’t have and struggle with the debts. Balram Chanrai put the club in administration as one of the first things he did. It was a really bad decision from the two arabs to allow the club to stay out of administration for so long but even so it was always up to the club’s owner as to what it did.

    Pompey were not unfairly allowed to delay a winding up order. Pompey challenged the original ruling by the courts and went back to court for it, which was well within their legal rights to do, and upon going back to court the club was able to prove that it had interested parties looking to take over so the court ruled that the winding up order was to be delayed, which was again legal and fair. Those proposed takeovers didn’t happen and the club put itself into administration before the next court next, which well within their legal rights to do. The HMRC scrutinised the administration to a microscopic extent and decided that there was nothing wrong with it. The options at that point were administration or liquidation so I think the club chose the best option.

    As to the cosequences, what do you want to happen to Portsmouth? They’ve been docked points, they’ve had transfer embargo’s placed on them and I’m sure they would be fined if they had money to pay it and they look to be docked points next season and probably have another transfer embargo placed on them as well. These are the only real punishments that Pompey can recieve unless your a proponent of expulsion from the league or liquidation, both of which would not allow the creditors to recoup what were owed and would not punish those who caused the problem.

    Portsmouths problem came from Harry Redknapp, Peter Storie, Alexandre Gaydamak, Sulamein Al Fahim and Ali Al Faraj, all of whom will get away from this with no punishment. Gaydamak even looks set to get 30 million out of it.

    Why not direct your anger and indignation at the people who actully drove Portsmouth into heavy debt and to the brink of destruction? The club is as much a victim of the afore mention peoples rank bad management as anyone else is, perhaps more so becuase the club is facing the anger and indignation of such people as the column writer and have to struggle to clear the debts to keep in business while being pelted from all sides by the media, other clubs, fans of other clubs, pundits, managers and even Richard Scudamore who just want to kick the club while its down but say little to nothing about the men who put the club in the position its in.

  5. The fact is all these interested parties to buy the club were never going to clear the debts and it seems to me that there was a lot of transferring around so the club could have more time

    Like I said, people like Storrie shoudl be put in prison for what theyve done because its just swindleing a business for their own good. The fact is i’m blaming the league for allowing stuff like this to go on when it could be quite easy to regulate in truth, you can’t keep building up loads of debt or this always happens. This ‘appropriate owner’ thing they have now is also a joke and obviously is flawed, just looks at Notts County, how did their owners get in?

    Even when the club is in heavy debt theyre making awful deals such as the Begovic on, Avram Grant getting paid top dollar when it’s not necessary, whereas theres people lower on the chain who lose their jobs and the tax payers who are picking up the cheque now while Pompey will probably pay back 10p on the pound. It doesn’t really reflect the real world, because if Pompey were any other business they would cease trading now, whereas all the clubs are too big to fail, it’ll just keep happening over and over so more rich people at the top can make their money.

    And also in reference to the parachute payment early, I meant they recieved their TV rights money early, hope i wasn’t unclear about that!

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