Friday, 26 February 2010

Pompey In Administration

Along with Charles Dickens, Peter Sellers and brothers Christopher and Peter Hitchens, i hail from Portsmouth and
although i haven't been to Fratton Park for many years, i do have a soft spot for my hometown team.
After years in the lower leagues, we suddenly burst forth, won the FA Cup and had a team full of International stars. And then the wheels fell off and today Pompey became the first team in the World's richest top football tier to go into administration with debts in the region of £70m.
Docked nine points and with relegation almost guaranteed, angry fans are obviously looking for someone to blame and a few people have been put forward as the reason why Pompey are in such a mess.
Hard to point the finger of blame at the Inland Revenue who are owed £18m in taxes and were the main people pushing for Portsmouth's comeuppance. We all have to pay taxes and i'm happy to see that they go after the big fish with as much vigour as they do with everyone else.
Some have blamed the players for pocketing such exorbitant wages but who would turn down such crazy wages if they were being offered?
Others are blaming the FA for not checking out the finances of the two Arabs who took over the club closely enough but then these are the same fans bawling at the FA in the summer for not giving them the necessary clearance quick enough when they thought they were loaded and wanted to sign more players.
For me the blame lays at the feet of two men, former manager Harry Redknapp and former owner Sacha Gaydamak.
It was Redknapp who signed the players on such wages the club could not sustain and Gayadamak who continually gave him the nod until the outgoings became too painful for his pockets and he withdrew his support leaving the club with a sky-high wage bill that sent it spiralling downwards.
Both knew they had created a monster between them and Redknapp, knowing what was coming, quickly distanced himself from the carnage by jumping ship to White Hart Lane.
True, he did win Pompey it's first trophy since the 1940s and under him Pompey fans lived the dream for a couple of seasons but as usual, it wasn't until later that it was discovered that they did it by selling Portsmouth's long term future.
If you Pompey fans want anyone to blame, you will find him sat in the dug-out at Tottenham's ground.


Merse said...

Hopefully Redknapp will screw spurs as badly as he screwed us. Play up pompey!!

Cheezy said...

I think that's very hard on old 'Arry. The way it works in football is that managers are given budgets by their bosses, and their job is then to use that money in the most effective way in which to win stuff. Which is what 'Arry, as you say, managed to do... something that no Portsmouth manager was capable of doing since long before anyone reading this (I'm guessing) was born.

So, job done, from his point of view. The fact the amount of money budgeted towards player acquisition and wages was ruinous (in terms of the club's long-term future) is the fault of the people who run the club's finances - the chairman, the board, etc. This is something which is nothing to do with the manager.

Anyway, I very much hope Portsmouth survive. I think they will (after the necessary fire-sale) and will be back in the Premiership before too long.

Cheezy said...

By the way, did you all enjoy Sol Campbell's timing, in filing his nice little lawsuit for 'unpaid image rights and bonus payments' back in January? Bit of a new years 'present' for the club.

Portsmouth owe several clubs (and every man and his dog) money, but that nice man Sol was the only one to rush into litigation about it. He must be down to his last few Ferraris.

Lucy said...

Redknapp has been manager of Bournemouth (in administration), Pompey (administration), West Ham (almost in administration), Saints (were in administration) and now Spurs so you may get your wish Merse if his track record is anything to go by.

Can't argue he and Gayadamack did a great job at Pompey Cheezy and most managers would chase the players he did if the owner is going to sanction it but between them they must have known they were living beyond their means and carried on anyway.

I also think Sol knew what was coming and got his claim in early to make sure he was on the list for the administrator to pay.
It would be a nice move on his part if he at least deferred payment to some point in the future but it's highly unlikely.

I also can;t see Pompey coming back up anytime soon, they just don't have the finances and will be challenging for midtable mediocrity in League 2 soon.