Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What is next for Pompey?

Yesterday Pompey were in the High Court pleading for an extension of their winding up order. There were only two possible outcomes from this, first they could be granted an extension, and secondly they could be liquidated. For those of you that were thinking about administration, Pompey had already gone past the point where that would have been possible. So there is no chance of a 10 point deduction and every thing being sold. Liquidation is exactly like it sounds, without an extension Pompey would cease to exist. There would be no FA Cup match against the Scummers, there would be no more Premier League matches, and the Premier League would finish the year with 19 teams. In such a situation it is likely that results against Pompey wouldn't count.

Luckily for every Pompey fan, a 7 day extension was granted. So there will be an FA Cup clash with our greatest rivals. Unfortunately if things do not improve financially that could be the final match for the club. I think it is highly unlikely that Pompey would be able to secure a second extension. So there is one week for Pompey to prove that it can pay its debts, and for Mr. Chainrai to find a new owner or owners.

The Portsmouth Supporters Trust are poised to make some sort of move, but it will likely be tomorrow in England when we hear what that will be.

Sulaiman Al Fahim still has 10% of the club, perhaps he has finally found his wallet and could inject some cash. Speaking of which if Mr. Chainrai can't find a buyer in the next week he could inject some cash too, just to insure that he has a club to sell.

It is not going to be a fun week, unless Pompey are able to get some money together, but it is a lot better than waking up and finding out that the club you support no longer exists.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Another Day Another Owner

Pompey now have their 4th owner of the season, which must be a premier league record. If you haven't already heard Hong Kong based businessman Balram Chainrai has taken over the club using a clause in a contract he made when loaning Ali Al Faraj money. Chainrai is not in it for the long term, and already looking for the 5th owner this season. As far as I can tell this is great news for the club. The transfer window just closed so there is no chance of a fire sale that would affect the team for the remainder of this season. Also with the club facing a windup order (essentially the end of the club altogether) hopefully the new owner will be able to pay off the debt enough to avoid the club being wound up. Also if the players are able to get paid, they may have a little optimism return to their lives. This is key to survival as right now they seem a lock for the drop as they are suffering from Newcastleitis, which is the condition of not caring about the play on the pitch.

Moving on, I think that the key thing is the search for the 5th owner of the season. This owner has the chance to easily build a strong relationship with the club and the fans. Add to the fact that the club could likely be acquired for a nominal fee plus covering the debt of about $125M makes buying a premier league team more affordable than most North American sports teams, hell it is only 3 times what the MLS wants as an expansion fee.

Let's have a look at what you get if you buy Portsmouth
1. 60M pounds in debt (perhaps 45M pounds after the transfer window)
2. A Soccer Specific Stadium, but in need of expansion or a rebuild
3. A quality manager in Avram Grant
4. The last place club in the premier league only 6 points from safety
5. One of the most loyal and dedicated fan bases in the sport
6. A Clean Slate

For me number 6 is key, if Pompey are relegated this year no one is going to blame the 5th owner, they are going to blame numbers 1-3. That means that owner number 5 will be a hero if this club stays up, getting all of the credit for that achievement and none of the blame if they go down. All the fans, players, and staff at the club are craving is some stability so if the owner brings that then they will be loved by the fans, which is key to running a successful club.

So who should be the 5th owner of Pompey? I think that it would be a perfect fit for MLSE to break into the premier league market. Avram Grant could be their Mo. I think it would be a good fit for everyone. I know that MLSE are far from perfect, but I challenge any of their critics to show how they would be worse than the gong show that Pompey fans, players, and staff have had to endure already this season.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Canadian Terrace Talk Episdoe 19

After an extended break we are back with episode nineteen of Canadian Terrace Talk. We cover the Premier League, debt problems across football, the John Terry saga, the transfer market and Canada’s friendly loss to Jamaica.

Next week we’ll be back with the first of many World Cup previews as well so stay tuned!

There are a few ways to listen, we recommend subscribing on iTunes here.

But you can also listen online here.