Toast Season 5#22 - A Touch of Frost
Why were Pompey upbeat about beating the freeze? Why tell Rug about to travel from the West Country? On Friday afternoon a local referee had looked at the pitch which was frozen solid under the South Stand and said the game could only go ahead IF the weather improved drastically. The temperature on the Portsea Island dropped below zero again on Friday night there was never any chance of the frost coming out of the affected area of the pitch.
On Friday night I had sent text messages to my co-eds saying 'game very very doubtful!` Rug travelled from the West Country as the club were 'confident` of the game going ahead. Who would you believe in the future?
Could it have been avoided? The club attempted to bring in a heated tent as they had in the past - the cost would have been £25,000, cash in advance!! Now we know that was not going to happen.
The shame was that the 'Pack the Park` campaign had gathered momentum during the week and the club were expecting the second largest home attendance of the season - that means number of home fans in the stadium.. It would have been a special occasion and has some pessimistic fans had titled it the clubs final home Saturday match! There had been some unrest amongst the club`s staff however as they have still not been paid - nor will be in the foreseeable future with the club`s bank account frozen.
The stories circulating about the events last Tuesday show that you can hear different stories abput the same events from different sources. We have Paul Jewell telling us it was chaos as he tried to talk to someone/anyone who would sell him the players he was after. He claims h was passed from Chief Executive to Administrator to Agent etc. and eventually gave up at about 5pm.
You then have News journalist Neil Allen making claims that Pompey had been offered a total of £4.1million on the day and rejecting it all. David Lampitt then claims he heard nothing and that HE alone is in charge of selling players - possibly selective hearing involved there I suspect. Of course DL is right Admin Andy is selling the club not the club`s assets; hat has to be left to the club alone.
So why these conflicting stories we have to ask? Is Paul Jewell trying to cover the fact that Ipswich in fact had NOT the money to buy all three of their reported targets? Have the club a buyer in the wings who would wants the best players at the club should he or she seal a deal?
Fans talking in the city cannot understand why the club with a winding up order now just two weeks away would attempt to stave off the taxman and sell their best players. Now none of these fans wants to see the players leave but believe in reality and a look to the future however uncertain that would still remain.
I think the most plausible reason though is the impending buyer. I have heard there are about four parties interested and a couple of these are very keen but are they waiting for the price to drop as the court appearance approaches and the possibility that Balram Channrai will reduce his demands as the prospect of recovering any of his 'investment`. The problem of course is do we want this brinkmanship being played with the future of OUR club? NO!!
It was sad of course to see young prospect Ryan Williams join Fulham for £400k. Players such as Ryan were the future of the club and it was perhaps a surprise that Pompey cashed in on him when other deals were not struck. Also strange because Appy was giving youth their big chance and Williams was one of those kids.
One thing making us think though is without a bank account how will be the money be paid? Is the Finance Director John Redgate keeping it under the bed?
Great stuff though from Joel Ward and Stephen Henderson showing loyalty to the club which gave them their first team chance and not choosing to waive farewell as HMS Pompey sinks without trace.
Yesterday of course should have seen the visit of Hull City to Fratton Park but the weather intervened. The match would have seen Pompey fans staring jealously at the Director's box. The target of those glances would be the Hull City owner Assem Allam a man who did it right.
Born in Egypt Allam move to Britain forty years ago and made a fortune in the generator business. Last year his family bought Hull City for £40m, saving the club from certain liquidation. Mr Allam has said he wants to 'give something back' to the area that gave him his prosperity. He told reporters at the time 'The main reason why I bought Hull City Football Club was as a present to the city and the people who live here because of what this area has done for me'.
Now why can't Pompey find a local Allam?
What did you do to relieve the boredom when the game was called off? (seem a lot of questions today -Ed)
For me it was lunch in the ET as usual and watch the East London friendly between West Ham and Millwall. West Ham deservedly picked up the points despite losing Kevin Nolan to a red card after just nine minutes. Millwall though could never make the man advantage count and their passing was abysmal all over the pitch and they left with nothing except a feeling of being robbed as the Hammers winner should not have stood after Julian Faubert clearly baulked Lions keeper David Forde as he came to punch clear. It was poor goalkeeping too but a foul.
Next on was the egg chasing between France and Italy and that was enough for me and the crew and it was home to tune to Sky Sports News and our old friend Chris Kamara plying the fool at Loftus Road with his constant changing of headgear. Soccer Saturday certainly is entertaining for any football fan but not sure about Robbie Fowler as a reporter
Then heard the very sad news of the sudden death of Nottingham Forest owner Nigel Doughty at his home in Lincolnshire - he was just fifty four. Condolences go to family and friends.
Watching the Rugby made me think who is the ugliest footballer you have ever seen? Eddie gave me a name from the 50`s the other night and for the life of me I can`t remember it. Can I start the ball rolling with Carlos Tevez - by the way no ex scummer players please as we know they are all ugly ******s.
Now you never thought that the Prime Minister would talk about Pompey did you. This week as we all know David Cameron told the nation that Pompey fans should not be expected move down the road if the club folded. Fans then expected - include Mike Hancock in that - that the government would launch rescue bid; no reality there then.
We will see what happens to the move from our local MPs soon but I don't hold out too much hope of an extension. Pompey escaped from the HMRC clutches owing millions a short while ago, I doubt it will be allowed to happen again.
Roll out Plan B.