Thursday, 12 April 2012

Portsmouth to fold

News yesterday that the debts at Portsmouth FC grew by £20m since their last period in Administration. Just think about that for a moment. Having nearly gone to the wall in October 2010 and having survived the rigours of Administration, the job-cutting, cost-slashing, debt-knocking, they actually then went on to build another £20m of debt. 

The mis-management at Pompey borders on the criminal and they look finished. £38m of the debt is to the former Adminstrators who weren't paid for the club last time around. £10m is owed to new owners and the rest is split between player wages, the tax man and other smaller debts. 

Any benevolent benefactor is going to have to give up a fortune to prevent the club disappearing and even then you wonder whether that would only delay a repeat performance. The fact that Pompey's last parachute payment is going straight to the previous saviour, Sascha Gaydamak, is more salt in the wounds. A mortal lesson in selling your club to an outsider, although I guess they were so desperate at the time that they had no option.

You have to hope that the passing of a proud town's historic football club will be a watershed in the finances of the game but the truth is that it may only serve to bring the skeletons rattling out-of-the-cupboards at a number of other clubs who may be forced to suffer the same indignation. 

I guess the powerful Pompey fan base will start again with AFC Portsmouth at a new ground and follow the path trodden by AFC Wimbledon. Anything is possible, of course, but that's the next ten years of your life accounted for as fans and things will never be the same. F A Cup winners only four years ago...


Phil said...

Dave, I like the new photo ! Yes it's shocking how that club's owners have nearly destroyed it. Someone usually seems to come in and rescue clubs at the eleventh hour but as you say it doesn't look good for Pompey.
Football League clubs appeared to get clobbered all the time while clubs in the Prem are allowed to carry on running at a massive loss. In addition, clubs outside the Prem get the worst punishment...I'll refer to Luton Town as an excellent example of that and the way West Ham were dealt with via a fine and no points deduction.
More fans attend games in the football league and those clubs develop future England players but the vast majority of money stays in the top tier.
It's very wrong but sadly I can't see it changing any time soon.
On a brighter note, I hope you have a great time in Carlisle.

Kings Hill Addick said...

Sadly Dave that FA Cup was bought with money they didn't have and, technically, they still haven't paid back - and probably never will.

I, sadly, think they need to go now. They are taking the micky with this latest debt they've run up, and in the third division they can't hope to pay more than a fraction of it - especially all the time they have payers on such massive wages with contracts they can't pass off to anyone else.

It does seem unfair on the fans but enough is enough. Rangers are another club that have taken the micky but I suspect that both clubs will be given an escape route. It seems that no one has the bottle to close any of these clubs down.

Anonymous said...

Portsmouth's a city not a town by the way, in fact its the only island city in the UK. End of today's useless fact!

Eyes open said...

Hi Kings Hill Addick.
And I expect the sky is gonna fall in on you on the way home.
So you don't think that Man City, Chelsea, Aresenal and Man United have not boght their way to the top of the premier league. Give me strength. The whole league is run on borrowed money. Sometimes a promoter goes broke but don't get too sanctimonious about trophy's being bought. but then when did football fans ever use their iQ before uttering their self righteous BS.

pompeywebb said...

Our 'previous saviour' is not Sascha Gaydamak. He was in control before the first administration. That is an incorrect fact in your article that should be resolved.

Joel said...

The FA cup was not 'bought' anymore than Chelseas in 2010 was 'bought'. We won the FA cup with money we did have at the time. After which our owner (gaydamak) pulled the plug. Do you not think Man City/Chelsea haven't got the money themselves and they've 'bought' success? what would happen to either if the owners pulled the plug? can they sustain ridiculous salaries without a rich benefactor? no, they can't. If the money PFC did have had been invested and used the right way, we wouldn't be where we are now.

Dave said...

Pompeywebb - "previous saviour" was meant to be tongue-in-cheek on the basis that he's gobbling up your parachute money. I wish Pompey all the best which I didn;t make clear enough in the piece.

Anonymous said...

If Portsmouth go out of business I wonder if that will mean 4 clubs get promoted from Div 1 this season. Maybe Huddersfield will do it after all.

Kings Hill Addick said...

Eyes Open. Of course trophies are bought. Even those clubs with no debt (you may have to go back into the past to find one) paid transfer fees and wages to put together a side to win. The difference is that Portsmouth bought the FA Cup with money that they borrowed and won't pay back.

I accept that the owners have been a little less generous, than you would have liked, with their donations, but there are not hundreds of families looking at the prospect of losing their home because Man Utd/Chelsea/Man City or Arsenal failed to honour a commitment because they used the money to pay for players that they just couldn't afford.

The clear I don't have a problem with clubs buying trophies, I just don't think they should do so with the tax payers money, which is what it looks like Portsmouth did.