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Taking the fight to the premier league

A letter from The Portsmouth Trust, on behalf of Pompey fans, was sent to premier league chief Richard Scudamore over the weekend to ask for immediate help with the situation at Pompey - or at least for them to have a CLOSE look at it, given that many of us now suspect that we have people 'running' the club that should not be doing so!

Below is this letter, which I am now able to share, along with an attachment of recent events that went with it...

PLAY UP POMPEY!

==========

Richard Scudamore Esq
Chief Executive
Premier League
30 Gloucester Place
London
W1U 8PL

30 January 2010

Dear Mr Scudamore

Portsmouth FC - Current Situation

We are writing to you on behalf of the recently established Portsmouth Supporters' Trust. We believe that our football club, established 112 years ago in 1898, is in serious danger of liquidation. The loss of such a beloved local institution would be for us all a betrayal of generations of loyal supporters and the community which it represents. It could also cause grave damage to the game in this country.

As I'm sure you'll understand, as fans we feel helpless. We have no way of intervening to change events for the better - events I'm sure are now only too familiar to you too (we have enclosed a summary of what we believe to be the most pressing and serious issues). It must also be extraordinarily frustrating given the minefield you would have to enter if you are to directly address the problem.

However, we ask you to consider taking direct action, and believe that you can using your powers - either under the Premier League's fit and proper person test or under the powers to intervene and run a Club that we understand the Premier League introduced in October last year. It was reported in The Independent newspaper on 2 October 2009 in a story written by Sam Wallace that, "Now, under rules introduced this month which allow the league to seize control of a club's finances, the Premier League is ready to take over at Portsmouth to stop them slipping into administration. No club in the Premier League has yet gone into administration and the board at Portsmouth, who have lost their first seven games this season, still hopes the situation can be rescued."

Although it would not be an easy move for The Premier League to intervene in such a way - and normally the last thing we would want would be for The League to run Portsmouth Football Club - if your intervention secures the Club for another 112 years, it would be a small price to pay.

What you decide as a League now will change the course of events currently being played out on the South Coast. Only you have the power to shape events towards the goal we all share - a stable future for our club.

If you would like to discuss this letter or the attached summary, please feel free to ring me on ***** ****** or ***********.

Yours sincerely

Ken Malley, STEERING GROUP, POMPEY (PORTSMOUTH) SUPPORTERS' TRUST

SUMMARY - CURRENT SITUATION AT PORTSMOUTH FC

  • The involvement of Daniel Azougy, whether he is acting as principal or agent, disbarred from practicing law for fourteen years following a fraud conviction (and as recently as March 2009 he was convicted by the Tel Aviv District Court of presenting false documents to the Israeli Securities Association in respect of the sale of his stake in a public company in 1999). According to press reports and our information, we understand he is effectively in charge at the club and negotiating transfers without the knowledge or permission of Club Chief Executive Peter Storrie, Club Chairman, Sulaiman Al-Fahim and manager Avram Grant. We are also led to believe that there is an increasing risk that not all incoming monies may directly benefit the Club.

    As an aside we are unclear what nationality(ies) Mr Azougy holds, but assuming he is an Israeli national and is not a dual national of a European Union/European Economic Area member state or Switzerland then he would require a work permit to legally work in the UK. The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 requires all employers to check the original documents of non EU/EEA and Swiss citizens to ensure that they have the necessary work permit to be employed in the UK. To knowingly employ a person over the age of sixteen who is subject to immigration control and who does not have a work permit is a criminal offence. To do so unknowingly is a civil offence.

  • Continued late payment of players and staff (including this month) The proceedings in the Court of Arbitration for Sport at Lausanne issued by Italian club Udinese in respect of some 3.5 million it alleges it is owed from a "sell-on" clause in the transfer of Sulley Muntari, bought by Portsmouth from Udinese and subsequently transferred to Internazionale of Milan.

  • Our former player Sol Campbell issuing proceedings in respect of some 1.7 million in image rights fees and bonuses.

  • The winding up order issued by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs for non-payment of Income Tax, Value Added Tax and National Insurance Contributions. The period for appeal expired on 26 January 2010. As far as we are aware no writ of appeal has been lodged with the Court of Appeals. We assume that the case will proceed.

  • Closure of the Club's website on Thursday 28 January 2010 due to non-payment of outstanding bills to the website contractor.

  • All future booked events at the club's Victory Suite cancelled indefinitely and the club's electronic advertising boards inoperative at our last home game against West Ham United (the latter two also associated with non-payment of overdue bills).

    We also have what we believe to be reliable reports of creditors effectively camping out in the reception area at Fratton Park seeking payment of overdue bills.

    ==========

    This letter itself did NOT bring any reply.

    Although following a planned protest at premier league HQ this has got the premier league into action and they will be meeting with a delegation of fans, more on this to follow...



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  • The Journalist

    Writer: Ken Malley Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

    Date:Tuesday February 2 2010

    Time: 9:55AM

    Your Comments

    Grim reading. What we (or the authorities at least) should have is proof that any funds raised go into the running of the club. You'd hope that other teams would want to help with that transparency. A statement from someone at the PL/FA/PFA is needed.
    wellyit
    I suppose it's probably accurate at this point to say that Richard Scudamore is the best hope we have. But saying that makes me feel like a turkey who's just caught Bernard Matthews smiling at him.
    PhilTaglia
    Good idea. I don't see that this will help though. Let us just hope it will.
    Pompey Malta
    A sensible idea, but probably not for the benefit of ourselves in the long run, but, for the benefit of the Premier League if they wake up in time and stop the game going (any further) into the mire!!!
    BarneyArmy
    I find it shocking how poorly treated the fans (realistically the only true stake holders at any club) are being treated by the premier league, they seem to have no interest in assisting or advising us yet ultimately they are beholden to us. They get the money from TV revenue and if we weren't watching the games on TV there wouldn't be any income. As one club (particularly one of the smaller ones in the premier league) it is difficult to influence their attitude towards the fans but once the Utd and Liverpool fans start getting really fed up with what's happening with their clubs and join in they might start feeling the force of will of the supporters!
    stooH
    To not reply to your letter is an insult. I would say it's typical of these guys, weak, out of touch and scared stiff of taking on something challenging. It takes a threat to protest to get their fat arse's moving.
    Mike1954
    Well written letters, at least they have agreed to a discussion - lets hope something positive comes out of it.
    tracyc
     

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