Date: 29th September 2008 at 11:41pm
Written by:

I think it is safe to say that we have all read, or at least heard about the reports in the News of the World on Sunday… It made for pretty damning reading, and painted a pretty gruesome picture about the club and how things are ‘going wrong’ and we are facing a virtual ‘financial ruin!’

Right, I think that it is pretty clear that not everything is ‘perfect’ for Pompey behind the scenes but lets just take a minute to take stock and put things into perspective eh?

The vast majority of football clubs in world football, let alone English football, are in debt – this is the way football has been for years, most clubs can always generate money somehow, some more than others in various ways and others – like us, have to rely on what we can generate – which is much less compared to most others, but there is always a way and clubs continue to be operate, even at a loss or should I say in debt, if this is a surprise to anyone then I would be surprised…

The reports painted a pretty bad picture and this picture was designed to put fear into the hearts of Pompey fans – not to mention sell papers, and I am sure this has worked with some, but do not be so taken in entirely by those reports. Yep, we are in debt, as said who is not, but we are not facing ‘losing our club’ this just is not going to happen – maybe the grand adventure of our mighty rise to a genuine force in the English game could come to an end, but it does not necessarily have to be ‘the end of the world does it’. If you ‘only’ support Pompey because ‘we are good’ then you have to ask yourself some serious questions anyway!

Look at the financial state of affair that is going on, this too effects football. Sacha Gaydamak being the businessman that he is is being affected – hence the smaller scale of player arrivals in the summer and other players being sold to raise finances. Believe it or not players pick up hefty pay packets and these amounts alone per year are barely covered by revenue gained, if we cannot sell out a 20,000-seater stadium then this helps even less… Yep, I know £40 a game is not cheap and is not something we can all afford – even more so given the cash crisis going on – but we need to start being able to afford this for games against the likes of Stoke, Hull, Wigan and so on, as I bet there will be plenty of empty seats at these games. Whereas we can afford this against the likes of Arsenal, Chelski, Manyoo, Liverpool, Spurs and so on. This right to chose is a football fans right, but this willingness to chose against ‘the smaller sides’ contributes to loss of earnings, this full house revenue generated would also do its bit to help – but to a degree I digress…

We have spent money to achieve the success we have wanted, but we have not been spending wildly a la Leeds and so on, we have spent an amount, but spent an amount ‘within reason’. Maybe we could not get any more money from the banks, hence why we did not spend heavily again this summer, but I would like to think that it was restraint from overdoing it that saw less money spent this summer? Would I want us spending wildly beyond our means in the pursuit of extra glory for it all to go belly up if it went wrong? Simple to answer really isn’t it – no!

These days are not ‘dark and gloomy’, those days have happened in the past and we are in a much better position than we were ‘back in the day’ to deal with this. Back then you looked at things and thought ‘Jesus we are in trouble, as even the assets we have to sell are not going to generate much’, whereas now, and I know selling players is not ideal as it undoes what we have done but if this clears debt so be it – undoing good work or not having a club? Again simple to answer! We could clear debt by selling 3 or 4 players and we are back on an even footing again – hefty wages are cleared, and fees received pay off debts, in theory simple and in practice if that is what it took then that would happen you would suspect? If it did then this is not to say that it is ‘the end of the world for us!’ Maybe as much as challenging right at the very top end of the table is concerned it would be, but we could still realistically hold our own in this league and the club would carry on going – I know as sure as night follows day I will still be here regardless!

It appears pretty clear that we are looking to either sell, or bring on board some investment, maybe Sacha would want to sell so he could ‘cut his losses’, maybe he would want to sell as his ‘love for Pompey is genuine’ and he knows he cannot bankroll us anymore?

Whatever, as much as I do not and will not turn a blind eye to financial matters and they do concern me, we cannot do anything to change this – other than ensuring we do turn out in force to help generate extra revenue – so I am not getting too down in the dumps ‘stressing’, ‘worrying’ or ‘doom mongering’ as virtually everything I could have ever wanted from this club has been achieved – not that I am saying I would happily accept it all ending now of course! There is not much I could realistically wish for, so I am just content to enjoy the times we have and will carry on making the most of them as if/when they go they may never return… God knows during the dark depressing days I longed for this – what we have now – so I am not letting them pass me by.

As said, the dark days in the 90s that we had – I cannot really relate to others prior – were real dark days, and days to worry about, I genuinely did think the club was doomed! So whilst like I say I have some concern now basically my message is for people to ‘chill out, relax and basically enjoy these times’ do not be taken in too much by all you read – things might not be great, and circumstances might change for us over the months/years ahead but I do not see that they can get as bad as they once were, we have the assets to guard against this – besides if things were quite as bad as we are led to believe, then if what Harry Redknapp has claimed about Lassana Diarra, and a rejection of a £15m offer for him in August goes, is true then they cannot be as bad as made out? If that was the case then as much as we, and he – not to mention the player himself – might not have wanted this the fella would not be pulling on a blue shirt now would he!

So, do not completely ignore the financial issues with the club, realise what the score is but also do not fear for the worst – basically though, and most importantly I say ‘live for today and enjoy these days and lets fully worry about tomorrow if/when it happens’ – figuratively speaking of course as tomorrow will come, but I mean that ‘tomorrow’ if it is a bad day for us…


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