Sunday Toast Season 3 # 31 - Admin experiences
This week has been a week when we have learnt all about the life in Administration. We started the week with publishing of the minutes of last Saturday's meeting between the Hacker Young and a group of fans including myself.
Those minutes were picked up by all the National Press and in fact the Vital Pompey story was the top article on newsnow that day - showing where they come when they want information. There was not a lot to learn from those notes but we are told we will learn much more at next Saturday`s session before the Hull game. We will be asking if they paid the going rate for advertising their company on the pitchside boards at both games last week.
Wednesday bought the anticipated news of eighty five redundancies across all areas of the club. Others were expected to reduce their hours or take huge cuts in salary. The only shock was that the senior staff were not affected. The vast majority of those to go were on relatively small salaries. It was sad to see Tug Wilson, Lynn Wells and Mark Crawford talking on Sky Sports News during the week.
Tug and Lynn were obviously popular members of staff in their roles of Training ground manager and receptionist respectively. Mark rightly claimed that some players could earn in a few days what he earned in a year. We wish them all well for the future and maybe some will be re-employed under new owners.
The biggest cut though came in youth development where all part-time coaches were sacked. This included the Isle of Wight facility run by the North family. It has produced a number of good youngsters over the years and reminds me of the time on the mid sixties when manager George Smith told the world there was nothing in the sea around Portsmouth except fish and it looks like we are going back to those days.
In a press release on Friday the Pompey Trust promised to look into ways of how to help the redundant staff.
The release read 'Pompey Supporters' Trust were saddened to hear that eighty five loyal staff of Portsmouth Football Club have been made redundant. Unfortunately they appear to be the victims of others' mismanagement and it seems unfair that they`re the ones to suffer. The trust is looking into different ways we could potentially help those who have lost their jobs and there will be an announcement on how we intend to proceed shortly
As a trust we have to accept redundancies were inevitable after Portsmouth City Football Club went into administration. The trust will be watching developments closely over the coming weeks. The PST will support any decision taken by the joint administrators that protects the long term future of the Football Club.
The trust welcomes the news Andrew Andronikou will be investigating "unexplained" payments made by the Football Club's previous owners. PST would welcome a full investigation into the management at the Club and support appropriate action being taken, if any wrong doing is uncovered.`
What the Dickens?
Back in 1859 Charles Dickens wrote his famous book the Tale of Two Cities. It opened with the poignant lines which seem rather fitting to life at Pompey at the present. ITV picked the first line up somewhere during commentary last week but here I produce it is full -
'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only'
Was that great foresight from the Portsmouth born writer?
What it means to me
Two years ago when Pompey reached the Wembley semi-final we ran a series on Toast called 'What it means to me`. We simply asked members at the time to tell us exactly what it meant to be going to Wembley where Pompey had not played since 1942.
It is safe to say that there are no fans on this site that have seen Pompey play at Wembley before. The 'Knowing me, Knowing you' feature had highlighted just how many fans saw watching Pompey at Wembley as their ultimate ambition. So Toast thought let's ask fans what it meant to them and the answers poured in.
In 2010 of course it will be completely different emotions so last week Chix suggested we resurrect the article and see how views have changed. So lets look at was said back in 2008 - make sure your tissues are at the ready!!
pompeyrug 'Going to Wembley to watch Pompey play means the absolute world to me. Just a few years back if anyone had told me I would be able to go to Wembley to watch Pompey I probably would not have believed them. Clearly it has always been a dream, but a dream was all I ever thought it would be!
Apart from my family and friends nothing means more to me in this world than Pompey, I love the club so to be able to be a part of this Wembley event when so many others sadly cannot will be something I will treasure for the remainder of my days - lets just hope we get the outcome we all so dearly want...
I genuinely do feel that I deserve to be there, so rightfully will be, so I am overcome that I can be the worry that I would not, is now forgotten. The sorrow I feel for those that cannot go is something that I am feeling a lot but what can you do?
Pompeygray from far off Australia said in a recent post - 'Unbelievable - the passion the pride, the wanting to all be together for the big event, this really wants me to be over there next Saturday, and I am only 12,000 miles away - blast. I will tell you something though, regardless of not acquiring a ticket, should we make the Final I will fly from Australia just to experience being in Portsmouth should we win the big one. It will cost me a lot of money, especially after buying rounds in celebration, but it could be the chance of a lifetime. My Dad witnessed 1939 so I want to walk up to his grave with Blue flowers and say Dad we did it again...bloody hell I've now got tears in my eyes already.....`
Colsue who told the following story.
'In 1939 my mother queued from 5 o'clock in the morning to get two cup final tickets at Fratton Park. Unfortunately I broke my leg and was unable to go, so my uncle took my place with my father. Bitter disappointment for a 14yr old!! But all was forgotten when Pompey won, and I followed the coach that evening as Jimmy Guthrie and his team paraded the cup through the town, I shall remember that to my dying day. Play up Pompey!'
That says it all and perhaps some of the younger readers will look back and think that in years to come.
Pompey4me who at the time lived in Waterlooville but has since moved to Perth in Australia
Did I ever think I'd see Pompey playing here? Well, before the last few seasons in the Premier League, the answer would have been no but we are most definitely making big strides to become an established top ten team, so now it goes with that territory. Most of you know I go to Fratton Park with my wife and two sons. They have been season ticket holders for the last two seasons, and as such they think it's perfectly normal to see the big four coming to town every year, how different to when my Dad used to take me, we seemed to be playing Shrewsbury Town at home every week! Without sounding too much like 'arry, we would always be playing the likes of Grimsby and Hull. So, to my kids, the fact we're off to Wembley is no big deal, we've been before to watch England, (it's a magnificent venue) and they are excited to be seeing Pompey there, but not as awestruck as I am. To be able to take my family to Fratton Park for the last two seasons has been fantastic; to be able to take them to Wembley to watch them play is an honour. For that I thank Sacha Gaydamak and his team, Harry Redknapp, and all the fans for making each trip to watch the Blue Army play so memorable, and especially the on-line community that is Vital Pompey.
Well I know Pompey4me would want to change his but those are a few highlights send in your 2010 reactions and I will publish them!!
Some good news filtered through last week about Cancer victim and Premier League referee Mark Halsey. Mark`s return to the game was at Hinckley where Leicester Reserves met the Scunthorpe.
Mark was understandably tired afterwards but pleased to be on the road back. Now he has to help his wife fight her Leukaemia. Good luck Mark.
RIP Chester City
It was with great sadness that we learnt lat week of the demise of Chester City Football Club. Wound up by the taxman with a debt of £26,125.
Formed back as Chester in 1885 by an amalgamation of two local clubs they gained admission to the football league in 1931. They were never to win any league titles but did reach the League Cup Final back in 1974/75 losing to Aston Villa. Chester produced many fine players including - Ron Davies, Lee Dixon and most famously Ian Rush.
Pompey and Chester`s paths did not cross until Tuesday 2nd November 1976 at Fratton Park when goals from Chris Kamara and Norman Piper earned the home side only their second home win of the season. I was among a crowd 8,480 there that evening, in fact I saw all of Chester`s four visits to the Park but never visited Sealand Road or the small but well appointed Deva Stadium.
The last meeting was on May Day 1982 when Pompey won again with goals from Rafferty and Doyle. All in all we met eight times in league games all in Division Three, Pompey won four and Chester two. We never met in Cup competitions.
They changed their name is 1983 to Chester City. Clubs like Chester must NEVER be allowed to die and to join the fight to raise a phoenix club visit cityfansunited.com.
Stop press teaser
Yesterday's League Two game finished Burton 5 Cheltenham 6. That got me thinking who were the last league side to score five goals at home and lose?