Now this really would be the 'great escape'...
Many thought that West Brom's escape a few years back was the greatest of great escapes, this was of course topped by our remarkable Houdini act at the end of the 05/06 season, some argue that West Ham's 'controversial' escape after that even topped ours, hell life did not begin in the premier league, so we had our amazing escapes in from Division One too.
But 'if', and I do not want to jinx them, Bournemouth pull off their league two escape this season that will surely surpass anything that has gone before and really would be the greatest of great escapes of all time!
Remember they, along with Luton and Rotherham, started the season on a minus points status for financial reasons.
Promotion looked on for them last season but when they entered into administration towards the end of it they were deducted 10pts and the form tailed off as the season petered out. The club were taken over last summer, but as they had not come out of administration before this season begun a points penalty was imposed, with Rotherham threatened with expulsion from league two if they did not transfer ownership or exit administration. In order to stay in the league they had to accept a -17pt penalty...
After narrowly avoiding pulling off a great escape last season they dropped into league two, player after player had to leave last summer and they club basically offered trials to anyone and everyone! Being in a similar position to Rotherham the Cherries were handed a similar -17pt penalty...
They were hit worst of all, a -10pt penalty was imposed due to financial irregularities and a further -20pts imposed by the football league for exiting administration 'with a company voluntary arrangement', so they started the season on -30pts, now that would be the greatest escape in the history of great escapes and would have left Steve McQueen looking as though he had been basically guided with his escape... It is still possible, but the chances of me being asked to pull on the no.9 shirt at Fratton next season are more likely, and I am crocked!
So, this is how it left the table looking at the start of the season...
Kevin Bond, who was possibly unlucky, as his hands seemed tied was sacked earlier in the season - in came Jimmy Quinn, but he soon went the same way. Under former Pompey defender Eddie Howe - who I think has become one of the youngest, if not the youngest managers in the football league - they have gained some more victories, victories that see them out of the relegation zone!
This is how it leaves the table looking now...
You can argue that Rotherham have done well to escape, which of course they have, but they had a good playing staff as it was when the season kicked off - I dare say they would have been up with the leading contenders for promotion this season had they not been handed the points penalty, but 'if' Bournemouth can pull off this escape what a monumental one it would be - they struggled to put together a side over the summer for pre-season, have had to make do with what they could and played players out of position but are now within sight of pulling off a remarkable achievement.
Hats off to Bournemouth, and all that have been associated with them, in a way Pompey have helped with so many former Pompey stars on their books and a couple of loanees chipping in too - the hardest part of all has been achieved, overturning the points and then getting out of the drop zone, if they can keep their heads above water now this will be a fantastic achievement, come on the Cherries!
PLAY UP POMPEY!
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