“We are struggling to make it to the end of the season.”
This is what Portsmouth administrator Trevor Birch told the BBC just over a week ago. Portsmouth were placed into administration for the second time in two years two weeks ago and that does beg the questions of what are they playing at? Pompey became the first ever Premier League team to enter administration back in 2009 and now it has happened again? Why, when you have just come out of financial difficulties would you sign or keep on players that are being paid top flight wages?
Could this whole saga lead to Portsmouth doing the same as clubs such as Luton and Plymouth or even cause them to become extinct like Wimbledon? From a mutual perspective I hope it’s the first one, although nobody likes to see a team get relegated, someone has to be in League 2. If it is the latter of the two then my beloved team ITFC would lose the 6 points they gained against them this season and drop 2 positions, halving the amount of points we are clear of the drop zone. (Typical that a team we win against twice in a season, which is very rare for ITFC, are going under!) But more importantly a great club, with huge history and culture would be no more. (Get your violins out)
Reports over the last few weeks have denoted the seriousness of the situation at Portsmouth. When Pompey played ITFC it was reported that the payers had to buy their own shirts from the club shop. Another report has said that the suppliers have changed the locks on Pompey’s storehouses and Portsmouth have confirmed that they can’t afford a medical scan worth £400 for Liam Lawrence, who has since recovered and gone on loan to fellow Championship rivals Cardiff City. It certainly is a sorry state of affairs down at Fratton Park.
But it’s not just Portsmouth who are throwing money on the fire, the Scots are having a go as well. Rangers, who are the biggest club in Scotland along with Celtic are also in financial trouble, they are thought to owe £75 million just to HR Revenue and Customs in tax. I would like to meet the guys who were in charge and ask them how they thought they would get away with it. I’d have trouble dodging my £100 odd a month council tax, let alone £75m! After taking tips from them, I would give them a clip ’round the ears and ask them what they were playing at. Why pay huge transfer fees for players instead of clearing your debts? You can’t win the league every year and by spending more than what’s coming in has meant that Rangers probably won’t win the league for a few more years to come.
UEFA’s new laws about only spending a certain percentage of what you earn is a good thing for me because it means that we won’t have great teams getting into bother. By being sensible and not going mad with wages and transfers and moreover being patient, clubs will be better off in the long-term. It is better to spend hardly anything for 5 years and then slowly become a good team, rather than splashing out on the big Premier League dream and 5 years later your sat in League 1 relegation zone. Speaking of League 1, in my next blog I will be writing about the madness that has be going on in the managerial world of the NPower League 1.