The Quay Fans Forum - full report
Tonight saw the inaugural Quay Fans forum which was broadcast live from Fratton Park. The difference from the normal radio sessions hosted by the BBC was this was not pre-season and lasted for two hours. Well quite a few Vital Pompey members made the effort and here is Gandor`s report on the proceedings.
The Quay Fans Forum 2009 held at the Victory Lounge, Fratton Park, on 15th October, 2009.
Present: Peter Storrie, Paul Hart, Michael Brown. Hosted by Chris Wise
The meeting started at 6.00pm and the above got a rousing reception from the 300 fans present. CW told the audience that Pompey had endured a rocky start but was now headed in the right direction with our new owner in place. He asked PS how confident he was for the future. PS said that things in the last fortnight were really boring now things had quietened down. He said Al Faraj was a very nice man and had backers. He will build the stadium and the training ground and will bring players in, if needed. Although PS said the team we have at the present time were beginning to come good.
PH was asked if things were better now. He said we have kept a fair balance but it had not been easy. When MB was asked how it was to have gained our first three points, he said it was great and that we were up and running now. He said it had not been a great performance against Wolves, but the important thing was we got the three points.
PS was asked what he was going to do for the younger fans? He said he was reducing the ticket prices, in some cases to a pound to encourage kids to come in and to bring adults with them. He was hoping to include a family enclosure in the new stadium for 3,000 people. When asked about student prices, he said he would do what he could to give them a good price but said that players wages were so high that the books had to be balanced and there was a limit to what he could do for everyone.
PH was asked where we would next be strengthening the team. He joked and said midfield, with a sideways glance at Michael Brown. He said he had already thought about developing the strategy to go forward, but was keeping his plans to himself. When asked what the summer had been like, he said it had been very difficult persuading people we had a working squad when we only had 14 players. MB was asked what convinced him to join. He said he liked a challenge and couldn`t wait to get started. He said the future looked good for Pompey. PS said that PH had been a brick staying with the club. He said the spirit of the team was tremendous and they were working well together. He said there had been difficulties persuading players to come to Portsmouth as they didn`t believe we would survive. He said we had been playing well and had been unlucky to concede so many games.
PS was asked how close he came to leaving. He said he had continually been fed rubbish and that was why he took the stance he did. He said the fans made his mind up for him when they chanted his name at the game, he said it was very humbling. Harry R said in the papers that Pompey would never see the likes of Sully Muntari et al again and was asked if this was true? PS said how could it be true when we already had the likes of Kaboul, O`Hara and Boateng, all of whom were top quality players. He said there would be further improvements in January and next summer and said it was insulting when people referred to our team as a championship side. He said this was not the case at all and that we were beginning to play good football.
PS was asked what was happening about the drums. To enormous laughter, he said he had not had time to think about the drums. A vote was taken in the hall which showed that 80% of those present were in favour of them.
When asked if Pompey would stay up and why he thought so, PS said that our team was better than at least a dozen teams in the Premier League at the moment. He said they had only played four games together and were now gelling well. PH said that we would stay up. He said we have the quality and the talent and could now close a game off.
When asked about Harry Redknapp, PS said that we should not abuse him after all he has done for us blah blah blah. He said let`s set about beating Spurs not Harry. Someone from the floor said Harry says he loves the Club - but he has gone - you love the club and you are still here, and that was the difference. PS said he had spoken to HR today and that HR knew he was going to get stick on Saturday.
PS was asked what season ticket holders were going to get to compensate tickets being sold at discount prices. PS said the vast majority of the discounted tickets were being sold at the Milton End and so were not really discounted, as that was not a season ticket area. He said Season ticket holders were being offered discounted prices in the shop and that he was trying to give us discounted prices for the cup games, although that was difficult as the visiting team had to be consulted.
Jamo staying put
When asked if David James was leaving, PS said no, it was a load of rubbish put in the press, probably by David James' agent. PH said he was surprised that Jamo did not play last night and that he would definitely be playing on Saturday as he was not injured.
The media have hammered Pompey and a fan wanted to know how we could limit the damage that could occur on Saturday. PS said the less we said the better. Stories about the SAS were rubbish and he just hoped that people would keep the abuse verbal and not get the club into trouble.
Asked if we could keep Jamie O`Hara, PS said yes, we will try. He definitely wants to stay with us and that he, along with others had revitalised the team. MB was asked if the team would miss him this week end and he said yes they would and that Jamie was very down about not being allowed to play.
PS was asked if the new owner was giving PH money to spend in January and PS said yes, he was.
PH was asked when an Assistant manager was coming. PH said we have Avram Grant now and he would act as an assistant. When asked when would Picquionne and Dindane play together. PH said that Picquionne had been dropped in at the deep end at the beginning of the season but was now receiving specialist training for the Premier League in order to acclimatise. He said he would soon be ready. He said Dindane was also acclimatising and the penny was beginning to drop. He said things were pushing forward.
PS was asked if we would now be self financing or would be continue to buy our success with credit? PS said to be self financing we needed a 30,000 seater stadium, and until that time we would always run at a loss. When asked about the training ground, PS said the owners had only been here 8 days and were still "putting the fires out". The training ground was ready to go, when they got round to it. When asked how long it would be to put the fires out, PS said they were going slowly as there was a lot of debt to clear.
MB was told that fans had taken him to their hearts and what was his secret. He said he always gave 100%. PH said he had fielded a team against a side that MB was in a few years ago. He said that MB was an absolute pain in the backside to opposition.
PS was asked if there were any more financial surprises. He said no. He was then asked who owns the land around FP. He said he did not know.
PH was asked why Begovic had gone to Ipswich. PH said he desperately needed experience as he was only 21. He said he had a future at Pompey and this was a good time to let him go as we had three goalkeepers.
PS was asked about "arm twisting" from Spurs to sell our players to them. He said this was not the case, the only problem he had had with Spurs was re Peter Crouch who said he would not go anywhere else and so we lost money from that deal.
When asked why we had loaned Nugent to our rivals, PH said that there was no future for him at Pompey. They had tried to sell him in the summer but had not had one offer for him. They hoped that if he performed well on loan, they might get some offers for him.
PH was asked if he was consulted before Avram came. He said he got on well with Avram and had worked with him on the Youth Development a couple of years ago.
Benji coming back?
When asked if we could buy Benjani back, PS said he has been injured for a year, but would look at him again in January. Asked how much transfer money would be available in January, PS said he didn`t have a clue.
PH was asked how tricky the opening matches were. He said they thought they could cope, but had had bad luck. The only bad game we had was Arsenal. If we had had some luck, we could have won some of the others. He believed that with the team spirit that prevailed the team would be causing other teams many problems.
PS was asked if there would be more Open days so the kids could get autographs from the players. Kids were being ignored by the players when they waited outside the ground. PS said Open days at the training ground were dangerous as many balls were always flying around. He would look into it.
MB was asked if the team knew how important a win on Saturday would be to the fans. He said they did not but now that he had got the message, he would pass it on. He said all games were important to them and Hull would be especially so, as they were expecting to take the points.
PH said he was working on it, when asked who was our official captain. When asked how much longer Herman would be away, PH said another two to three weeks. He was still in a bit of pain but was recovering. He was then asked if he regretted letting Gekas go, in view of his recent goal scoring. PH said he had a system of tried and tested players and could not afford to let Gekas play. He said he was a lovely lad and it was unfortunate that Gekas had arrived in Portsmouth at the wrong time.
PS was asked about hosting the world cup and he said that it would be possible todo that at Fratton Park which could be temporarily adapted to seat 45,000. He said Portsmouth had a good chance of being one of the hosts.
PS was asked if Zaki was coming. PS said no he wasn`t. He said team morale was high and they did not want Zaki spoiling it.
PH was asked if the new owner had faith in him. PH said he was doing his best and was not looking over his shoulder. He said that if and when he did leave Pompey, he would take only good memories with him. He was enjoying it.
PS was asked what an Executive Chairman did? PS said it was an honorary role given to Al Fahim and he would only chair meetings.
PH said the fans had been patient throughout the ugly football last year, which was a system he had adopted to stay up. He said hopefully this year it would be much more attractive. He said the fans had been fantastic and the ovation they received after the Everton Game was unbelievable. MB said the cheering at FP by the fans, gave the players loads of confidence. He said that he had played FP as a visitor and it was a tough place to come to.
Asked about a point target for Xmas, PH said between 15 and 20 point, hopefully.
Wow what a read and Gandor left before the end to meet the exacting deadline I set her. Wonderful report.eastneydave