Portsmouth On The Brink Again?

What the hell is going on at Portsmouth? Despite Sulaiman Al Fayed passing the fit and proper persons test that the Premier League subjected him to, he’s still not completed the takeover at Fratton Park. The fans of Pompey deserve better than this, it’s not fair and it’s getting beyond a joke. The club has had no additional finances for over 9 months now from current owner Alexandre Gaydamak, so desperate is he to recoup his overall investment.

Perhaps someone should point out to him that you get a lot less for a team that is either in the Championship or nothing for a team in administration. Portsmouth are clinging to the cliff edge by their fingernails and unless the deal gets sorted immediately, they are in serious trouble of lasting until the transfer window shuts.

On May 17th 2008, Portsmouth fielded the following side in the F.A. Cup final; James, Johnson, Hreidarsson, Distin, Campbell, Utaka, Mendes, Diarra, Kranjcar, Muntari, Kanu. Subs: Ashdown, Paramot, Diop, Nugent, Baros. Of that match day squad, 10 still remain at the club with another 8 who were either not at the club or unable to play that day, which swells the ranks to 18 first team players.

The Premiership season starts in 11 days and at this moment in time, it has now become clear that there is no guarentee that how many more of the remaining squad members will still be there come 3pm on the 15th when they face Fulham. That is unacceptable for Portsmouth’s fans, who always seem to be the last to know anything these days.

The protracted takeover for the club by Sulaiman Al Fayed has still not been completed and today the club inadvertently revealed the financial woes that the club faces. There’s nothing worse than sending a confidential e-mail to suddenly realise it’s become major sporting news.  Portsmouth’s Chief Executive Peter Storrie has opened a can of worms this evening after such a scenario revealed the state of Pompey’s financial woes. Storrie’s e-mail stated that “The business has debts to pay and the banks are not releasing funds, so this leaves the club with no option but to sell to keep going.”

Since the F.A. Cup final, Portsmouth have raised over £70 million pounds in transfer revenue and spent around £10 million. Where on earth has the other money gone? Storrie claims that the club simply cannot function without selling further players, so where has the TV revenue gone? Each club receives on average £45 million a season in the Premiership, so add that to transfer revenues and you are looking at £115 million coming in to the club.
Even if the the transfer deals are paid in installments, it is still a revenue stream that the club can include in its accounts.Don’t forget the club received £5 million from Tottenham for Harry Redknapp to take charge back in October too!What is happening at Fratton Park? How did it get to this point that they are so close to the wall that even £115  million can’t keep them functioning?
Is Sulaiman Al Fayed banking on them going to the wall? By entering administration, Portsmouth will automatically be docked 10 points. Not an insurmountable deficit in the Premiership, but only if you have a team that you can put out. At this rate, Paul Hart may have to register himself as a player just to top up the subs bench.
With Storrie’s admission of the state of Portsmouth’s finances, the Premiership vultures are circling. Other clubs know now that they can pick off the best of the rest, with Niko Kranjcar and Sylvain Distin at the top of few clubs shopping list. Hot prospect Martin Cranie is another player that several managers will have already earmarked and Younes Kaboul will have several suitors, no doubt with Ajax and Lyon leading the field.
Yet, when you’re paid £1.3 million a year, you’d think that e-mailing a national newspaper would make Storrie think about what you discuss with them. What a mess, what a shame. Can Portsmouth keep going until the protracted takeover is complete? I hope so, otherwise the pebbles on Southsea beach may be coloured blue when the sharks come to finish off the club. I hope it doesn’t come to that.
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  1. Steve Tomkinds August 4, 2009
    • FredTheRed August 5, 2009
  2. Nick Davies August 4, 2009
  3. AtlantaPompey August 4, 2009
  4. Lyle August 4, 2009
  5. AtlantaPompey August 4, 2009
    • Lyle August 6, 2009
  6. Geovanni August 4, 2009
  7. Geovanni August 4, 2009
  8. Tom August 5, 2009
  9. steve August 5, 2009
    • Lyle August 6, 2009

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