From the Press box

Nicole Carroll: A one woman mission to make a name in football

Portsmouth: Don’t take the piss

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Following Portsmouth moving into the final of the FA cup, beating Spurs after extra time, Avram Grant today announced his intentions to fight moves to prevent Portsmouth playing in Europa next season, an opportunity given to Portsmouth due to Chelsea being able to qualify for the Champions League next season.

Portsmouth’s financial situation has been splashed all over the media, and the circus was contained when administrators were drafted in to sort out the mess the club had got themselves into.

The FA Cup final placing for Portsmouth leads us back to the last time they got to this stage of the competition, when all their problems truly began.

Portsmouths financial problems were going to happen the minute they gambled with money they were never going to be able to account for. This ship on the course of destruction did not set sail for oblivion in the past few months. Rather, this was the inevitable conclusion to a story that began 21 months ago.

Taking us back to that time, Portsmouth were on the crest of a wave after winning the FA cup. A top class strike force headed up the team, and the squad was oozing was class which lead them to their only piece of major silverware in modern times.

Behind all of this though, the club had pressed a self destruct button. With Fratton parks capacity of 20,224 and the club posting a cumulative debt of £40.4 million between 2007 and 2008, the huge wage bills of these players were always going to cripple the clubs financial infrastructure and lead them to the problems they find themselves in.

Despite the fact they knew they were already spiralling towards severe financial difficulties, Portsmouth proceeded to blow £36 million on players in 2008, in a year where they should have been working to reduce debt, rather than risking the clubs future security.

This now leads us back to today. Portsmouth have now been mathematically relegated, and are playing for their final swansong at the top of their game in the FA Cup final against Chelsea. Already there are stories being fed to the media about the clubs inability to use players in the final due to massive financial bonuses built into the players contracts if they play those matches.

As a football fan, todays news surrounding the Europa farce is just a step too far. Portsmouth are lucky to still be surviving, let alone having delusions of grandeur of competing in the Europa league. They’ve done very well to get to the final, they should let the fans enjoy one last big day out, before beginning to build to acclimatise for life in the Championship. Pipe down Portsmouth, we’ve lost sympathy.

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Written by Nicole Carroll

April 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

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