Date: 31st January 2012 at 10:44am
Written by:

Well, in the strictest sense that is not entirely true as it is not only deadline day for Pompey but deadline day for the rest of English football!

In many ways though today is almost a ‘deadline day’ for Pompey as you get this feeling that today will, once and for all, clarify a lot of things for us and let us know where we are heading…

Most of us had expected departures, and a good number of them by now, although as I write only The Herminator has been 100% confirmed as a departure.

Ok, Ryan Williams is ‘as good as gone’ as he has been at Fulham, and indeed played for their ressies last night, but his £500,000 ‘switch’ has not been confirmed as yet – maybe I am being too ‘optimistic’ with my thoughts but I am not quite, as things stand at the moment, classing him as a ‘fire sale’ player because by all accounts Fulham have been interested in him for some time now?

He comes from a good footballing pedigree, one brother plays for Boro and his twin Burnley – there is football stock in that family so Fulham are basing things on that.

We have clearly, for me, seen that he has talent in his cameo outings but I guess in many ways, up s**t creek or not, accepting a £500,000 offer from a higher league club for a player that has a very limited history of football behind him is not the worst thing to ever happen, and other – dare I say bigger and better – clubs would have done the same, right?

Maybe the option of him returning on loan down the line is there to benefit all, assuming we have a club down the line…

In many ways we are ‘damned if we do’ and ‘damned if we don’t’ as far as departures go today.

By selling the limited assets that we have we may well raise the money to pay off HMRC and stave off their winding-up petition but the monies generated today will soon be swallowed up by the other costs of running a club and it will not be long before HMRC are due PAYE again, so the likely scenario – unless an owner steps forward – is that another WUP is issued not too far down the line?

Also by selling these assets an already less than appealing proposition, Portsmouth Football Club, becomes even less tempting to a ‘potential’ buyer.

If we do not sell off players then the club literally, and it seems that way already, cannot continue to function as a going concern, but would it just be a delaying tactic…

Whatever way you turn, and however you look at it, it is looking – sorry to be bleak and/or pessimistic – like the number of grains of sand that this famous old football club has left to run are becoming few and far between so it is only a matter of time as to when, and not if, it is the end?

In a conversation that I had to my cousin yesterday morning my hopes were that we could get through January with all wages paid, it is then a case of ‘he who blinks first’ loses out. It was soon apparent that wages would not even be paid though…

My theorising was that if that was paid, by Balram Chainrai again or whoever, then the next ‘test’ would be what would his next move be?

He would then have to decide to cut his losses and reduce what he was asking as a return to mean a would be buyer could get the club much cheaper – a failure to accept such terms ‘potentially’ sees him losing A LOT of money, so he has to decide is it best to cut his losses and recoup less or literally nothing?

If wound up even a secured creditor will not get much, he might get Fratton Park but what would that be worth, and would he even be able to do anything with this land?

The way I see it should we go into that WUP hearing with HMRC and by the time that hammer comes down should we have not paid the outstanding PAYE then that is that, we are gone and will be no more!

There is no disputing what is owed, it is in black and white and no stay of execution would be granted this time round…

All sounds fine in theory, but my plan – even taking into account the latest ‘blip’ with unpaid wages – has one ‘minor’ floor!

PFC needs an owner, and sharpish…

Not only do we need to find an owner, we need to find one that not only wants to own Portsmouth Football Club but has deep pockets to be able to willingly ‘write off’ millions of pounds before the club is even on a level playing field. Even after that the chances of getting any return after that write off are debatable, if not limited?

If we have not already then I do think that it really is time that we start facing up to the fact that we are in ‘difficult times’ to say the least…

Anyway, back to today!

‘If’ we get through this day with minimal, or limited, damage player departure wise then would it be foolish to take a positive view on things and ‘hope’ that some good news is awaiting us?

Refusing to ‘cash in’ on players would tend to raise those hopes that something is in the offing, but if we do get to the end of this day with the limited assets that we do have having departed then I think my limited hopes that we can come through this ‘crisis’ will take another huge knock…

As was said to me earlier in a text today is a ‘big day’ that will ‘tell a big story as well.’

Despite all of my thoughts above when all is said and done will a player departure or two really do much to save the club?

Selling a couple of assets would keep us afloat for a few more weeks but ultimately I cannot really see the departures of assets being of much benefit to PFC and/or having much impact on what will happen in the future?

The only real impact I think it has is that it makes the club an even less appealing prospect if the limited assets are gone!

So, we may as well take the ‘sod it’ attitude and keep them anyway, assuming – having not been paid – they have not, and you could argue fairly so, decided that is that and they want out…

If we are going out of business players will become free agents in a month or so anyway!


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