Date:Thursday August 13 2009
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Well the Toast team took a very welcome new member to the Radio Solent forum at Fratton Park tonight in Gandor who made copious notes and has prepared this in depth article.
The forum was graced with the appearance of Chief Executive, Peter Storrie and Manager, Paul Hart along with most importantly over 300 fans. The mood was definitely mixed with many fans being positive about the coming season and some being full of doom and gloom.
What went on
A very pensive Paul Hart, a chirpy Peter Storrie and Lawrence Herdman (of BBC Radio Solent) presided over what was a very civilised and well behaved meeting - all things considered. Herdman welcomed the 300 supporters present and addressed a brief summary of the position we find ourselves in. Peter said things had been tough with no finance for 9 months and that it was important to ensure the club survived. He said he had signed a player today and was hopefully finalising another two on Monday with more later in the week. Paul Hart said we had a massive challenge in front of us but we still possessed players capable of playing in the prem who could cause all sorts of problems on the pitch.
The questions were then thrown open to the floor, and Pompey mascot Cyril asked Paul Hart, who is going to replace Brian Kidd? Hart said he was disappointed that Kidd had decided to go home to Manchester. He then said that there were many more people responsible for last season's relegation escape and mentioned Woan and Guy Whittingham amongst others. He would not be drawn into making a quick decision but had one or two ideas. Storrie then interrupted by saying he had spoken on the phone to Brian Kidd today and that there was still a possibility that he would rejoin us.
Herdman asked Storrie if he regretted the email he sent to a fan. Storrie said no he didn`t and talked transparency and honesty and how he likes to tell the fans everything. He said there were a lot of things ticking along at the moment, and that we were to wait and see. (He said this on at least three occasions throughout the meeting).
When Herdman told everyone that Dr SAF would be in his Box for the game on Saturday, a member of the audience said it was no good his being at the game, we would rather he stumped up the money. Storrie absolutely agreed and said that when Sacha had bought PFC, it had taken 6 weeks and that he had given money to buy players before the deal was done to help us buy players in the January window. He also knew nothing of Dr SAF attending the Fulham game!!
Herdman asked how we were in our current position. Storrie said it was because of the small gate which could not sustain the huge wage bill. He said he had warned Sacha several times re overspending, but Sacha went over his head, giving Harry everything he asked for. He said Sacha had been a brilliant owner but his stocks and shares were affected by the 'credit crunch'. He said we had sold all the players we needed to for economic reasons and now, any players now being sold would be for tactical reasons.
Graham from Copnor asked why ticket prices had not gone down in line with the wage bill? Storrie said that some ticket prices had come down but could not do more as we needed to buy players. He said a big problem was the allocation of 2,000 tickets for away fans, which were rarely taken up.
Pete from Gosport asked why, if Dr SAF was listening via radio, could a Conference call have not been set up, so that we could hear what he had to say. Storrie pounced and said the time for talking was passed. He went on to say that Sacha and Dr SAF were now talking and that he knew absolutely nothing. Herdman then asked Storrie if he thought the takeover would go ahead and he said No!
When asked why the deal to Spurs took place at £9m when we were offered £12m by Sunderland, Storrie said this was down to Peter Crouch wanting to go to Tottenham and nowhere else. He said he would be glad if he never had to deal with Tottenham again. They had only offered £6m for Crouch and Storrie talked it up to £9m on the last day of the negotiations. He also said he would be quite happy never to deal with Spurs again!
When asked if Sylvain Distin would be staying and if he would be Captain, Hart said yes to both. Storrie said he had had a lot of interest in Distin, including an offer this morning which was refused. Storrie said he had outlined who was for sale and who was not but the powers above could sell anyone they wanted to.
Eric from Bishops Waltham asked what progress was being made on the Training Ground. Storrie said everything was in place to commence work once funds were in place.
Hart was asked about the fact that the Bookies had us marked down for relegation. He said the team were in high spirits and had a strong desire to win. He said they were training very hard and that we were bringing some good players in before the end of the transfer market.
When Storrie was asked if Officials were in France trying to secure Didane, he said 'No Comment' and then smiled. He also admitted to travelling abroad next Monday to try and conclude a deal. He said the club were trying to sign players on a 'try before you buy basis`. T a round of applause he added that the club would not disclose any details of players they were interested in.
When asked why Gabara (Dr SAF`s man) appeared to be speaking for both Dr SAF and Sacha, Storrie said that Gabara definitely did not speak for Sacha, and there had been no comments from Sacha.
When the audience were asked if they would trade the past for stability now, about 40 percent said yes they would.
Storrie said that once we had a 32,000 gate he would try to encourage youngsters to come to the football and become fans for life, by giving them £1.00 tickets. When asked if he had a message for the players he said, watch this space - things will change soon. We need the fans support, we are a partnership. When asked if there were contingency plans in place should the deal not go through, he said no comment.
When asked about the new stadium he said, the most important thing is to get FP to a 32,000 stadium and then think about the new stadium.
There is no doubt that Peter Storrie is as fed up with it all as much as we the fans BUT he knows something which he cannot tell. When asked if the club could survive without the Dr SAF bid going through he simply smiled and 'Wait and see`
Is there another buyer in the wings? He obviously cannot tell but he knows something.
Once again many thanks to Gandor for her scribbling and the typing of most of this article. If you see her buy her a drink!!
You can now listen to the whole Forum by clicking
Date:Thursday August 13 2009
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