Toast Season 4 # 30 - Woe in Wales
Pompey crossed the Severn Bridge on their final raid on the Principality this season and returned with nothing and the season beginning to end on a very low note.
Where you would have expected players to be performing with the hope of attracting either a new contract of another club they appear to have their minds elsewhere. All is not happy at the moment with the squad arguing amongst themselves and with officials and Ricardo Rocha may be popular but four red cards in twelve months?
The latest could mean a lengthy ban and maybe the end of his season however you have to have some sympathy with manager Cotterill view that it is strange no action was taken against Jay Bothroyd as the Pompey defender had blood streaming from a head wound as he left the field.
Not a lot else I can say really except it has to be sorted out to prevent the season ending in farce and the catastrophic effect that would have on season ticket sales.
As you all know by now a special day is being arranged for the final home game of the season on May Day Bank holiday (2nd May). A special website has been set up here
The days events both in and around the ground include beer tent, children`s rides, inflatables, a raffle, bands, stalls in fact something for everything! We will give you all the details nearer the day and all profits go to the Tom Prince charity and the Portsmouth Sport and Education Foundation. Should be a really good day out for the whole family.
Zebra - reading between the stripes
Still no news on whether fans will be able to renew their season tickets using debit or credit cards so we thought we would add a small piece about the Zebra Finance company and their offer.
Currently, supporters cannot buy season tickets using their credit or debit cards. So, as reported, they have to pay by cash, cheque or through a credit agreement with Zebra Finance.
The firm says fans would get a full refund if for some reason Pompey failed to play their matches next season.
And if, for example, the club went into administration halfway through their fixtures, then it said the season ticket holder would be reimbursed for matches that had not been played.
Elliott Barlow, operations manager at Zebra Finance, said it was required by law to issue refunds.
He added: 'If the club failed to play any of their matches then the fan would get a full refund, as we are required to do under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
And if a team didn't fulfil their fixtures, then the fan would get their money back on a pro-rata basis from the games which weren`t played.'
History lesson - misleading headlines
The local midland press ran headlines on Wednesday such as 'First Sky Blue win at Fratton since 1966!` which although true is very misleading.
It was however only Coventry City`s third fourth visit in the league in those forty five years and only lost one of those back in February 2002 to a second half Peter Crouch goal. In fact that was the only one of the visits that I missed and I can clearly remember the 1966 encounter.
You will all know of course that England won the World Cup in 1966 and just three weeks later the new English season began with huge crowds and a renewed vigour to the game. However that had not reached Fratton Park and after a quiet summer with only the arrival of full back Roy Pack on a free from Arsenal. The season`s opener was a goalless draw at Norwich and the first home game was Birmingham on the Wednesday night - Pompey played midweek games as most clubs did then on Wednesday`s kick off 7:30.
That game was a high scoring farce really with Pompey scoring twice and hitting the bar in the last two minutes ending up losing 5-4! I think that is the only 4-5 scoreline in Fratton Park history. Roll on Saturday and Coventry City come to town. They are a club we have not played that often and they have spent most of their life in Division Three South. However Jimmy Hill as first manager and then Chairman pulled the club up to Division Two and they would be champions that season.
To show their respect for Pompey when the go ahead and innovative club that Coventry become published their own club song in 1964 the words were Let's all sing together
Play up, Sky Blues
While we sing together
We will never lose
Proud Posh or Pompey
Oysters or anyone
They shan't defeat us
We'll fight 'til the game is won!
It was to the tune of the Eton Boating Song of course and was popular with the fans as I got to find out when I visited Highfield Road later that year. I am told that Jimmy Hill himself wrote the words. They were also the first club to have their own radio station and the first all-seater stadium in England.
Anyway back to 1966 and four weeks after that World Cup Final Coventry came to Fratton Park and murdered Pompey in front of 16,297 which was only about average and in truth the final scoreline of 2-0 did not tell the real story. the return game on New Year`s Eve showed just how good the Sky Blues were when Pompey found themselves five down after an hour.
Chix is back!
I lot of Vital Pompey members have been asking recently 'where is Chix?' Well he has been very busy with family and work and is currently in France recuperating after those exertions.
The good news for Chix fans is that he will be back with a new regular Thursday slot and more news of that will follow all being well. I know it is something you will all enjoy.
Cup final tickets
We all complained this time last year when we saw the prices for Cup Final tickets but this year the FA have increased prices by a staggering 22%! The top priced tickets are now £115 up for £95 and the cheapest £40 (£35)
How in the times of wage freezes the FA can expect fans to cough up these prices is beyond belief. Perhaps they should charge all the hangers on who attend such games especially those who disappear for half time drinks and never make it back to their seats. Games like this are about the fans NOT corporate hospitality!