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Window Shopping

There has been a lot of media speculation recently about the purchase, whether in full or part of Pompey and as is usual in these situations we have been linked to various consortiums from all corners of the World.

There is one story however, which crops up time and again which seems to have a lot of Pompey supporters 'up in arms' - The 'suggested' approach from Pini Zahavi.

To recap: The Pini Zahavi proposal is 'supposed' to offer Pompey; Continuity of the Training Ground and Stadium plans, a completely new management structure with a proven National Coach as Manager and, the debating point for this article; the opportunity to become a 'Shop Window' to showcase up and coming talent - The idea being, that the talent is then sold on for a hefty profit.

Having spoken to a number of people about the 'Shop Window' idea there seems to be a unanimous 'anti-Pini Zahavi' feeling and to be honest I find this quite odd.

Why as Pompey fans would we not want to see:
A) Significant investment in our club?
B) Milan's and Sasha's dream of a new stadium come to fruition?
C) The best upcoming talent play for Pompey?
D) The club make a hefty profit?

Before you Respond
Now I'm sure at this point you feel you'd like to respond but before you do, consider the answers to your potential misgivings.

The players won't be committed to the club
Why not, surely you'd get more commitment on the pitch from a player trying to prove his worth and realise his dream of playing for one of the big boys. As for club loyalty, well after the past couple of weeks I no longer believe it exists.

We would be used as a feeder club for G14 clubs
So what! Are we nave enough to believe that at present we could withstand an offer for an upcoming talent now? Muntari anybody?

Our Premiership status, let alone Europe would not be a priority
Why not? Surely a 'shop window' needs a prime location and surely a player's price is heightened if they have Premiership and European experience

Players would spend no more than a couple of years at the club before being sold on
Who from our starting XI on Saturday has completed three consecutive seasons with the club?

It could mean the end of signing 'established' players
Sure it might, but for every Defoe there is an Utaka, for every Crouch a Nugent - What it would do is rid our wage bill of over inflated salaries for players that are content to sit and do nothing.

Is it not true that the reason those I've spoken to do not like Pini Zahavi's proposal is that it clearly labels us, not as a sleeping giant or as a potential title contender, but as a club who sells it's prize assets. In my opinion that's exactly what we will have to do anyway if we do not get a buyer, so what is the difference?

Pini Zahavi's idea is clear, concise and in my opinion an honest (and sound) business proposition. It does not try and seduce us by saying we are going to win the league. It does not patronise us by promising we will compete with the big boys. What it does do is nail our feet firmly to the floor and tell us to stop dreaming about becoming a Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal - It ain't going to happen.

Face Facts
Let's face facts - If Sasha is to sell, what would you rather have? A rich millionaire who wants a play thing or a sound businessman who sees an opportunity to make a good solid long term profit by plugging a hole on the market.

More Diarra's anybody?

Join the Vital Pompey Debate

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The Journalist

Writer: Chix Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 10 2008

Time: 2:44PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Thoughtful, Chix and difficult to argue with.
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 15:12:00

When you put it like that but it still makes you sceptical. You can argue all clubs are feeder clubs to the really big guns but ocassionally we get them back & do things with them, if not briefly.
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 15:13:00

zahavi has a well earnt reputation for letting people down, his name is almost always involved whenever a dodgy deal gets investigated. The French tax investigators want to have a chat with him. The rules say a club should be run as independant body without fear of influence, zahavi is already under investigation for that in other countries so how can he own PFC and be prepared to give up his agency work to avoid a conflict of intrest, would he even pass the latest fit and proper test ? It seems a touch arrogant of you to dismiss a SA gold and development consortium as just wanting a rich mans play thing. Finally just cos you have given up on winning something as an independant club it doesn't mean the rest of us have.
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 15:16:00

isnt there also a rule about an agent not being involved directly or indiectly with eirher party on a move between a player and a club and with any single with a club on more than a set amount of deals. Otherwise i really enjoyed that article chix, keep em coming.
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 15:23:00

Really good article Chix and a convincing argument. I hadnt really sat down and thought about this properly. Just a thought, but not sure i'd be happy to be completely limited to only young upcoming players. What about old hats? Picking up a Prosinecki/David James type, near end of career would never happen again!
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 15:34:00

I had thought about this from you're side of the argument before reading the article and to be honest still don't see this as a good option. Why should we not aim to be a big club in say 10 or 15 years? Why should we always have to limt ourselves to selling the best players we have? You will never achieve anything if you do not aim for it. I do not see the point in competing for something if you are not trying to win it.

Why would we be a play thing? Most clubs are bought as an investment, the rewards of which will always be made when selling on in the future. I can only think of two clubs that have been bought for fun, one of which has been very successful.
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 16:34:00

sneakay - if you had 70m id think the last thing ud think of diong with it is spending it on a football club , maybe im wrong , but I wouldnt. apart from stupid levels of management fees , wages etc ONLY staying in the prem guarantees income. if sky/bbc suddenly pulled out of tv sponsorships (this COULD happen) then were does that 60m go?!?! owning a football club is not an investment - ask sacha!
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 17:09:00

but if you had 70 billion, you may be intrested in investing in the brand, which you could use to enhance the image of your other products... or failing that, you could always use them as a play thing...
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 18:24:00

Chix your arguement is NOT convincing. Every Pompey fan dreams of the club one day being in the top four. You cannot take this dream away without totally destroying Pompey Football Club as we know it.
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 19:22:00

Well it looks as it I've got you all thinking .. which of course was my intention.. Couple of things.. The 'African' takeover story broke as I was writing this so any reference to 'them' using us as a play thing is not intended - I was just using a comparison... 70m who mentioned that figure ? - I reckon it'll be more likely to be in the region of 30m (Where's ChrisW when you need him?) ... Sneaky's point about what's the point of entering if you have no intention of trying to win - Tell that to the London Marathon Runners ;).... RussM's point about Zahavi's reputation not being that clean - Sasha's ain't that clever is it (by association to his Dad of course)... And I haven't given up the hope of winning anything because I think this is a good idea... Look at Arsenal's youngsters in the Carling Cup... Are you saying 'you can't win anything with Kids'? ...So far nobody has convinced me why this isn't a good idea.. ... But I'm sure you'll try ...
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 19:32:00

.. Ahh sorry 007 you were posting at the same time as me... Fair shout.. but how will we ever win the League ? We are 'tiny' in comparison to the big boys and even when the new stadium is built will still have a capacity less than United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle.... Isn't it about time we 'knew our place' and settled for what we have... Doesn't make us any more successful does it.. Are Ford any less successful than BMW ?.. both compete in the same marketplace for the same customers... but both are successful because they know there place ...
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 19:38:00

Chix, wrong again, we are thinking about dreams which can sometimes come true. I believe we had one at Wembley last year. Ford are in deep trouble, BMW are not.
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 20:10:00

Chix, You are absolutely right of course, but Pompey are not alone in selling on players. Since I have been following football (2 years), the whole thing has been one big incestuous Merry-Go-Round. So, my question is, if this is what all the Clubs are doing anyway - why set Pompey up specifically for this purpose? It doesn't make sense to me and I think Zahavi is riding for a fall as all the Clubs have their own scouts (which Zahavi would have to compete with). It also seems pretty far fetched to me that he would be able to showcase in the Premier Division with the likes of Utaka and Nugent, cos for every Muntari, you are going to get three of them. Also, you need a team to play a good game of football, if you were continually selling players, you would never have one. You mention Arsenal's youngsters - how many of those players have been with the club short term? Not many, I suspect. Nope, on the face of it you have a good arguement, but I don't think it holds water.
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 21:43:00

Gandor - in case you hadn't noticed, we have been buying up everyone that we see that looks like they could be good. We have a fairly decent number of 16 year olds... by the time they are 19/20, and playing for our first team, they will have been with us a few years, won't they?
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 22:03:00

We can't be a huge club overnight. But is the Zahavi method going to be a stepping stone to becoming a huge club (and therefore being a feeder club in the short and mid term to amass capital) rather than just an end in itself? Might be arguable ONLY if Zahavi is a true blue wanting to do the best for Portsmouth whereas all these moneybags only want the best for their own profit margins so I am not sure if you can give Zahavi more than, what, five years dabbling with Pompey. Can you give any of these people more than just dabbling time?
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 22:17:00

Well written Chix and thoughtfull. unfortunately i have not had time to read all the comments and may repeat a few ideas. I am against the idea for the fact that it makes us 2nd class. not in the sense that we are not as big/good or whatever as Mun Utd Liverpol etc because we know we are'nt. What it does do it makes less than Wolves and Argyle and watford and Crewe. why because there Kids are theirs. The clubs Our will just be produce of the PIMP Zahavi. DO you see not ours not a club just a shop. no youth development just a shop a whorehouse if you like. it makes us mucky dirty and cheep. I for one will not support this kind of thing
plymouth graham
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 22:23:00

PS. the manager becomes a ringmaster getting the puppies to perform in the circus watched by us saps at 50 or 60 a shot, whilst the adoring rich kids get to pick which puppy they want to take home. We get to see the advert for main attraction but are excluded from the main feature. The manager...Head coach...hmm??? not Curbs or Harry then. This is like watching the X factor but pretending they are real bands. I hate the premiership and it makes me Vomit. I hate mc donald and KFC and corporate bull***** that dictates to people what a great product it has and we should be grateful that they are so benevolent to us by selling it to us at the exorbitant prices they do. ..and this "Pimpy Zahavi" bull***** tops the lot.
plymouth graham
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10/11/2008 22:35:00

Carps, its not really how long they have been with us, but how long they have been in the first team. If our good players keep getting transferred, we will only have the rubbish left and how will they keep us in the premiership, given that they will be given different players to play with again and again and again.
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 23:06:00

Some great and passionate thoughts people and I'm really glad that what was a 'quick think' when having a fag has sparked so many comments .. I think I'll do more of these contentious articles !... To LET YOU INTO A SECRET I mentioned to Rug when we published the article that I wasn't even convinced I liked the idea myself but just wanted to see the reaction it got and boy was it worth it... What do I think now having read all your comments ...
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 23:42:00

I think it will be great to bring up stars of the game, hopefully some of them like playing here and choose to stay. But money will change this club, for good and bad. Dont forget just a few wks ago, you were all told to sit down and the ground was silent. To be honest i think we need a medium, need the funds, talent, but not at the expense of the passion and pride of the club
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 23:55:00

.. well I think (for me) 007 & Sneakay hit the nail on the head ... If Zahavi were to take control of Pompey his philosphy (which ok, might actually work) would do nothing but trample on the dreams of us Pompey fans.. gone would be the aspirations of ever becoming a big club... Gone would be the hope that 'one day, maybe one day' we'd be 'up there' .. We realised dreams in May and how great did that feel especially to the older fans who SERIOUSLY never ever believed we'd play in a FA Cup Final.. before 2008 our biggest day out was the '92 semi .. do we want to wait another 16 years for another 'day-out'? .. I for one don't... Not only that, the Zahavi idea would not add any great players to our history and as I think Plymouth Graham put it we'd be responsible for weaning the greats but have to sit back and watch our babies (or puppies) perform for another club.. For me.. given the choice right now I'd rather take the rough with the smooth and see how things go with 'The Africans' (if that comes off) Pini Zahavi can keep his/their ideas to themselves thanks very much.......Keep your comments coming...
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 23:56:00

Spot on Nodster .... Pompey should and hopefully never would lose it's Passion and Pride... In my opinion that is what makes this football club that little bit special and it's that which nearly made me cry with relief when Defoe netted that pen on Saturday..
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 00:01:00

thanks for recognising the dream thing that i put on the first ripost to your posting, from what i understand sadly we may get zahavi in any deal due to whome some of the debt is owed to.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 08:19:00

Plymouth Graham is spot on. Chix's arguments are compelling, but it makes me very uneasy. We wouldn't be a proper football club anymore, just some sort of practice club for young players till they moved on to their proper teams? And what about a blend of youth and experience, like we have now? There'd be no place for players like Sol, Jamo, Sylvain, Linvoy . . .? No thanks.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 12:38:00


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