Date:Sunday July 24 2011
The sign above the Blackbaud Stadium the home of the Charleston Battery say 'Beware of the Alligators' which would put the fear of god into most mere mortals. Perhaps Fratton Park should have a sign saying 'Beware of the Hermannator'.
Pompey seem to have settled well into their American base and are gelling well as a unit. However there are only seventeen players and that includes youngsters, Ryan Williams and Lewis Stockford. However that number was greater than the attendance for the first warm up game which was sixteen - the number of Pompey fans who were admitted to the stadium to watch.
The size of the squad though is not such a problem as it was as the Football League agreed this week to reduce the number of substitutes from seven to five this season. Seven will still be allowed in competitions overseen by the Football Association. When I say the Football League of course it was the clubs that agree the change.
The turnout for last weeks annual bash was to say the least disappointing but nevertheless we enjoyed a good chinwag and I know some particularly loved the food on offer. We shall try again next year though and perhaps someone might even arrange something during the season.
Football Supporters Federation
I have been reading a lot of reports recently particularly from the Football Supporters Federation about the problems caused by over jealous policing at games. The majority of incidents appear to feature visiting supporters and the FSF have been busy defending those who have been the innocent parties.
A number of cases have involved fans being set on by police dogs and in one such incident Tommy Myers a Palace fan and University student received facial injuries which could scar him for life. When asked by Myers` barrister why he arrested the Palace fan on Reading station without considering alternatives. The Transport Police officer replied "It was football day, it was football-related and there was disorder on the day. There are always issues at football, there is always disorder.'
Myers was acquitted and said 'I'll never go to away matches again. You lose all your human rights on an away match.'
In another case a Barnsley fan has been awarded £3,750 compensation by South Yorkshire Police after he was bitten by a police dog and served with a Section 27 order on his way to Sheffield United's Bramall Lane. The incident occurred in 2010 and came the attention of the FSF after the fan in question contacted them saying he had done nothing at all to deserve such extreme treatment.
Good work from the FSF but has, or will, football ever really rid itself of the hooligan tag?
Thanks for the kind comments last week about the Jimmy Dickinson article and photographs. The thanks go to all the team really for that piece and it has I know won us a few friends.
One of the little perks I got out of that was I am now the proud owner of the Peter Jeffs' book Pompey's Gentleman Jim. The 1988 edition is a mint condition second hand copy whose previous owner was G Carey a one time Pompey Chaplain.
I have not read it yet as I received a large number of books for my recent birthday on my summer love of cricket and I am working my way through them but that will be followed by Jim and then Colin Farmery`s book on the Pompey Championship years.
Part of the clean up going on around Fratton Park is affecting the light towers. Many fans have always commented on the number of bulbs which appear to be dud, well are not dud but not in use. The club electricians say that they are not needed as the other bulbs give more than sufficient light to meet the standards.
So bulbs will now be removed and make the towers look as though they are in full working order.
I am told that with all the recent internal promotions within the club have done a lot to lift the spirits of the staff. Gone all the new arrivals and those who have been loyal to the cause are being rewarded.
The stewards though are still not too pleased. They took a 10% cut in their wages during administration but were promised verbally by Admin Andy that any new owner would recompense them for that loss. They are still waiting!
This next item will definitely upset russellm who complained recently that the Toast staff get too many holidays. Well I am afraid they are off again for the next two weeks in fact touring the West Country and the next Toast is scheduled for three weeks today - unless of course someone else would like to write it.
Date:Sunday July 24 2011
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