Date: 26th February 2010 at 10:28pm
Written by:

Have we just gone through ‘The Great Escape’?

It’s a term that is always banded around with a team looking to avoid the drop, no matter what league or country your side derives from. However, for me, the term itself can respond to several meetings.

Many associate it with getting enough points to survive, but for me, the simple fact we’ve staved off liquidation and have a club to continue supporting – for now – is a great escape in itself.

Furthermore, the fact that we’ve gone into administration could result in our ‘loan stars’ having to return to their parent clubs, something I also feel could, over the next few months, benefit the sides.

The money constraints pretty much mean, unless a buyer is found, that the likes of Jamie O’Hara, Freddy Piquionne, Aruna Dindane, Anthony Vanden Borre and others won’t be returning to Fratton Park.

This could give those in our youth academies, that potentially would want to play for the shirt a chance to show us what they’re worth, and if we can survive or even challenge in the second-tier next year, without spending a penny.

The likes of Matt Ritchie and Joel Ward could be given a more influential role in the side, for a club that they’ve been with for a number of years, and know exactly what the fans’ would expect of them.

Fringe stars such as Danny Webber and Angelos Basinas could also thrive in the Coca Cola Championship, a league where Webber himself has spent most of his playing career, and with Basinas’ age creeping up on him, the chance of regular football and a chance of bouncing straight back could prove an opportunity too large to turn down.

I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be the only one to say this, but the only person I think we ‘need’ to be at the club come August is Avram Grant. The man, iconic in style and heart, is the current lifeblood of the club and seems to be the only one within the boardroom who knows just what repercussions this administration could have on not only the club and its fans’, but the city too.

With Avram in the Championship, the side keeps the cohesion gained over the last few games, as well as giving us supporters the ongoing feeling that we can actually win matches, giving us something to aim and aspire to over the course of a season.

Without Avram, do we get the same? I guess it all depends what names are linked with the post, but who in their right mind would take over a club in free-fall, with a potential 15-point deduction at the start of next season too? They’d have to either be on something very, very pungent, or be a football man… like Avram himself.

So this is my plea to Mr. Grant. You’re Portsmouth Till You Die, and you know it. Prove it. Take us on in the Championship, and ‘rise us from the ashes’ as former-manager Redknapp so adequately put it. We need you.

In other news, CEO Peter Storrie has in the last few hours announced that as soon as a buyer has been found for the club (again) he’ll step down – and I think it’s about time. I’m not one, nor never have been, to down someone in the job in the hope of them being sacked, but the fact that I, in my opinion, feel that he’s a major contributor to the club’s downfall, makes this a first.

In his statement on the site, he states “I find it somewhat ironic that a couple of months ago my name was being chanted by the fans at a time when I seriously considered my position at the club. Yet now, because I appear to be the last one left, they are calling for my head.”

Right. I was one of those in the Fratton End that day, and the simple fact that he pointed it out made me think, what relevance has this got? This actually makes me wonder if we were all wrong to sing his name in the first place. His ‘consortium’ that he ‘claimed’ to have set up, had a whole host of names linked, with if I’m recalling correctly, included Ali Al-Faraj.

Now, let me not be one to go too far with this, but hasn’t such a man, who has been proven to have no money, owned us? Well Peter, as I say, I’m not one to down someone’s hard work but, surely if he was to join Storrie’s consortium, he’d have checked his finances? So the simple fact that the legwork wasn’t done at that initial stage makes me wonder just how Peter earns his wage?

This is by no means an ‘anti-Storrie campaign’, as there are cases in his eight-year stint that he does deserve some credit, namely the way he clearly shows his love for the club, even if he does it in a self-promoting way, who’d blame him?

Sometimes it’s a case of ‘better the devil you know’, so as soon as the administrators come in, we’ll have someone taking over the CEO duties, and here’s where we hope that those who come in also have the club’s best interests at heart, and not simply working for the tax man, completely screwing us over.

Or perhaps we’ve just pulled off another ‘Great Escape’, leaving the old regime behind and finally being given license to start again?

Till next time!


Dan Brett.

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