Date: 8th January 2011 at 6:42pm
Written by:

So Pompey returned from Brighton in the saucer after being emphatically knocked out of the cup. (That joke was courtesy of former Fulham Chairman Tommy Trinder in 1968) It was a very bad day for the Blues with not only Dave Kitson sent off but SEVEN others shown yellow cards. The club will no doubt hear a lot more about that – especially with most bookings being for dissent.

So the suspensions mount up (although it is ten bookings now rather than five) and with the injury to Liam Lawrence it is looking doubtful we can send out a strong side unless SC can bring in his loan targets this week.

It was a bad day all round for the Championship with twelve sides beaten at the first time of asking.

The Sloan Ranger

I received an email on January 2nd informing me of the sad death of Jim Sloan at the age of 88. Jim over the years had without doubt been the voice of the fans particularly during his sixteen years as a club director.

Born Samuel Winston Sloan in 1922 in Belfast Jim was educated in Northampton and then joined the Navy. After service life Jim joined Grosvenor Press and watched Pompey through their Championship years of 1948-50. He joined the board in 1976 and served until his retirement in 1992 at the age of 70. He joined the club during the SOS campaign when Pompey had dropped to the old third division and were suffering with financial problems. Along with several other directors, he helped keep the club on an even keel and saw them rise all the way back to the top flight by 1987. He attended many supporters club meeting and passed information of the fans’ feelings back to board meetings. He became president of the London branch of the supporters club in 1989 and attended their AGM in London every July. As a supporter and director, Jim travelled the country watching Pompey – visiting all the 92 old English league grounds in doing so.

Jim then became president of Petersfield Town FC and served in that role until his death.

In total that makes a service to local football of thirty four years and I know that all fans would welcome some form of tribute to Jim a the next home game. Petersfield have already marked his passing with a minutes silence. Jim was known by older fans as a man who wanted to know the views of the fans and then make those views known to the board. He would like to get those thoughts over a pint in the local pub usually leaning on the bar!

Thanks to the OS and others for helping me put that together.

Back home

So Pompey have almost completed moving out of the new back to the old. There are less windows in the ticket office which lead to long queues but it is all about moving off Gaydamak’s land and back home to Fratton Park.

The club have received great criticism over the handling of ticket sales particularly for the Hull City game. The club have responded however and announced their plans for the future so let them take over and explain.

‘The club would like to clear up some points concerning the ticket sales problems that occurred for the Hull game and expand on our plans for ticket sales arrangements for future matches.

The club were very aware of potential problems caused by logistical and IT issues presented to us by the Ticket Office move from Rodney Road to Frogmore Road over the Christmas period particularly given that walk up sales are more prevalent in the Championship than the Premier League.

Prior to the Millwall game on Boxing Day (where we had a larger crowd) we announced there would be no sales on the day and collection of pre-ordered tickets would be from the Megastore in Rodney Road. This worked well on the day and with this experience we made it clear both on our website and through The News that tickets would be sold until 1.30 pm on the day for Hull and for people to come early to avoid queues.

Unfortunately with the clutter of Christmas & the festive period this message may not have reached those it was intended for and fans started to arrive after 1330 (including nearly 200 Hull fans). At this point we decided to continue to sell tickets in the hope that the collections queue would clear and this would open up the two windows for sales.

As people joined the queue, we advised them that the ticket office closed at 13:30. However, due to the obvious desire of people to enter the ground and our desire not to turn people away, we took the decision not to stop people joining the queue but did inform them that they would probably not get into the ground until after kick off. From 3.20pm anyone still in the queue received a 50% discount on their ticket price.

All credit to both sets of supporters, they were excellent and well behaved and thankfully there was no disorder otherwise the whole operation around the sale of tickets on the day would have had to be reviewed.

The ticket office is open as usual in Frogmore Road (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm) during the week and we strongly advise people to park in the main car park behind the Fratton End and not in Frogmore Road. The alley way to the ticket office is clearly sign posted in the car park.

In respect of arrangements for the Leeds game and for the remainder of the season) we will be installing ticket sales pods around the ground.

For home fan sales on the day these pods will be open from 10.30am and will be situated in The Victory Bar concourse, the emergency car park at the top of Anson Road and one at the Milton End/South Stand corner of the stadium by Specks Lane. Fans can buy a home ticket for any part of the ground (subject to availability)from any one of the home ticket pods. The pods` location do not correspond to sales for particular parts of the stadium.

There will be a single pod for away fans only (open from 1.30pm on match days) to buy and collect tickets and will be located near the Milton End/North Stand corner on Milton Lane.

Consequently match-day tickets will no longer be sold directly from the ticket office on the actual day of home games but there will be three windows open on match days from 10am for collection of tickets previously ordered/purchased, enquiries and upgrades.

These plans were in place as part of the office move arrangements, but unfortunately due to the Christmas period we could not take delivery of the booths until after the Hull game. We hope this will address the difficulties experienced at the Hull match and informs of our intention for the future.`

So there you have it, the Pompeypods will be with us soon.

Money, money, money

Fans are clamouring for more players to be added to the squad which is understandable but Balu Chanrai is right, we simply cannot bend the budget to bring them in.

How can we afford more players when we are paying so much to the likes of Michael Brown, Richard Hughes, John Utaka, and David Nugent? The four are reported to be on a joint £120,000 plus a week which is what most Championship club will pay their entire squad. That equates to a massive £6m per year and that when the club are working to a budget of 15,000 crowds, which will only bring in about £7m including VAT.

The club has just exited Administration and has the CVA payments to make, can they risk extinction before they off-load the level of wages that got the club into the trouble it has been in?

A goal for Hughesie

Richard Hughes has been given the second Pompey goal at Leeds by the dubious goals committee. Hardly rocket science that though as his shot was going in and AOB only diverted it into the corner. If that was an own goal so would every goal be where the keeper gets a hand to it!!

So after 131 league games he has a goal to celebrate!! The irony is it will probably be his last!!

Text problems

Text commentary has its shortfalls. What is this all about from the Millwall Palace game recently on the BBC website?.

Neil Danns takes a shot. Blocked by Neil Danns

and finally

Toast regulars will remember Tina who covered the death of Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke for us and other will know her husband Simon, erstwhile barman in the Eastney Tavern.

Well Tina is recovering in QA Hospital after what is reported to be a minor heart attack. I visited her yesterday and she seems in good spirits but has a long period of rest in front of her. I know all that know her will join me in wishing her a speedy recovery – Get well soon Tina!!

And I was going to wish you all a Happy New Year but after three games and three defeats it has not started too well.


Join the Vital Pompey Debate