To play or not to play!
That is the question, but what will be the answer?
The latest 'drama', some would say farce, that Pompey are involved with is the well-documented contract issued with Mikey Brown and Richard Hughes find themselves in.
Unless a 'compromise' can be reached with either then the number of games that they have left as Pompey players, at least players that will be under consideration to play, is very, very limited...
As paultsmouth quite rightly point out, with Mikey Brown in particular, given the dire straits that we were in - on and off the field - when we signed the guy quite WHY he was signed with the 'contract clause' that allowed him to automatically have a contract extension, on bloody good money, beggars belief!
Good old Storrieteller eh...
To be fair, despite the fact that both players - like most modern day footballers at most levels - are on 'good money', to say the least, whilst it is difficult to justify why they should get paid what they do the fact of the matter is that they do, and they 'live' to these means so taking a massive, massive pay cut is something that we might, in fact we would, find difficult to make them take.
In all honesty I would think that both, who have been in the game for sometime - and Hughesy has been on our gravy train for what, almost a decade - have made a very good living from the game so a reduction of wages, within reason, 'should' be acceptable to both, right?
It is all very well saying 'we will just offload them in January if they do not agree to a new deal', but it is NOT that easy is it!
I would imagine that we have learnt already that 'making' some players leave, that are happy not to do so due to the money that they are on - in some instances - is easier said than done. A number of players, past - and in some instances present - have opted against moving on due to the riches that they are on...
Hughes, for me, is going to find it harder to find himself a new club. I know he is only in his early 30's and as much as I like the guy, sorry Hughesy, his footballing career is on its downward slope and a club picking him up, and on anything like he is at Fratton, is highly unlikely.
Brown, for me, would still have a lot to offer to a number of nopower clubs, and some lower reach premier leagues ones. So he would find a new home easier, although finding a club that would offer him the almost 'guaranteed' 1st team football we could would be harder, as would getting money near to what we are paying.
Striking some 'deal', be that doing something similar to what we did with Kanu, where we gave him the 'security' of a long-term contract but on less money per week that would equate to what he would have over 1-year, is 'probably', or could be, something that we will look into doing again with these, if that is good enough for them?
In many ways though what BOTH have to decide upon is, are they happy to sit on the sidelines kicking their heels until their contracts end to ensure that they pick up the money that they are now on until this ends, or do they want to play football?
I would 'hope' that both answer this with a positive answer and an arrangement can be found...
The most encouraging thing in all of this is David Lampitt insisting that neither player WILL be given the opportunity to automatically trigger this contract extension clause, we now have to hope that this IS stuck to!
As short as we are in numbers, we cannot afford to allow high contract earners to have the chance of extending their spells on the kind of money that they are.
It will be interesting to see what does happen next. Given the state of the modern game, and what can often go on, I would not really like to attempt to pre-empt what will happen. I merely hope that what 'seems' to be the 'right actions' are taken next...
PLAY UP POMPEY!