Vital Football

Toast Season 5#24 - in a fight now!

Toast Season 5#24 - in a fight now!

Jason Pearce led his troops into battle yesterday at Oakwell and would probably have left with a result if he had not been let down by two things - luck and Dave Kitson!!

The experienced red headed striker let down his team mates and the fans by getting himself sent off for two yellow cards before half time. That left the other members of the cobbled together side with an uphill battle which they could not quite manage. A number of them were playing with injuries but they bravely put their bodies on the line and were let down by a hot headed colleague.

I have always defended Kits when he has been under pressure from fans mainly because of his work-rate but yesterday there can be no defence, whatever the circumstances.

On the plus side it is great news that West Brom have allowed George Thorne to return and pay his wages - thanks to the Baggies!!

Strange that the other club to enter Administration this week, Rangers also had a man sent off in Papac and slipped to defeat. I noticed in the Ibrox crowd a Union flag with 'Pompey Gers` emblazoned on it. Partners in crime some would say.

Pompey oddly now have only six away games left. They are the three derbies (Reading, Brighton and Southampton) and the three sides around us (Forest, Coventry and Doncaster). Would have been nice to have a few easy games in there really.

Can we play you every week?

That is what Ipswich fans will say after their win last Tuesday. Strangely the thirty eight league games between the two sides have all been at the second level of English football - plus three cup games.

Ipswich have not lost at Fratton Park since a 4-2 defeat back in 1966.

I asked pompeyrama who is the club I like seeing the most and my stats tells me that that would be Shrewsbury Town - seen them seven times seven wins twenty one goals and only one against!! Curiously Trevor Birch may have been in one of those Shrewsbury sides too (he wasn`t though!).

Have you recollections of a team we always do well against? Older fans would say Everton

Is it me?

Are you the scourge of Portsmouth Football Club somebody asked me last week?

My bad luck as a Pompey fan stretches from George Smith cutting to just one team with a couple of amateurs in mid sixties to SOS Pompey #1 etc etc, three Administrations, I have seen it all!

But I am to blame? Not too sure I am but supporting Pompey has not been boring!

Bits and pieces

Wasn`t the Prince goal against the Gunners a peach?

Forty three games unbeaten the treatment of Lee Clarke left the football world in a daze. In a statement on the League Managers` Association website Clark said: "I am very perplexed as to why I was dismissed as manager of Huddersfield. I am extremely ¬disappointed and shocked.

Surely he must have been lining himself up for another job.

Collins Mbesuma wins the African Cup of Nations! Now you didn`t see that one coming did you? Remember the work permit problems we had due to the low ranking of Zambia meant he was not given clearance to join the club until late into pre-season 2005.

Paul Jewell said of the Pompey fans after the Ipswich game "Supporters are the heartbeat of football clubs and they were brilliant. The players are out there applauding them and I`ll probably go out and join them.

The Spinnaker Tower was lit up in blue on Friday night so I am told. Must admit it didn`t look too blue to me though.

The Football league is hot on plastic again. Yes the days of plastic pitches in the football league may soon return. The last was Preston`s and was ripped up in 1994 but with the advance in technology and the need to increase income, some clubs in Leagues one and two are leading the push for change.

There is a consultation document here and you can even join in the survey here.

17 February

17 February 2012 will go in Pompey history as a bad day but it could be the start of another road back to normal life at Fratton Park. It happened on a date where there have been some memorable matches not least in 1998 when 8,622 roared Pompey to a 2-0 victory over Stockport County.

On the same date in 2008 Pompey got lucky at Deepdale and a last minute own goal took them to the quarter final and on to Wembley. David James also saved a Preston penalty.

Back in 1968 Pompey went to First Division Fulham in the FA Cup fourth round and earned a goalless draw. The replay attracted 44,050 to the Park.

So maybe it was a good day to start the long road to recovery.

Why did Pompey end up in Administration again?

Was it just bad management as the media, particularly talkSPORT on Friday afternoon, would have it or was it bad luck? Toast has tried to reconstruct the last nine months and make some sense of what really happened.

When Convers Sports Initiatives took over Pompey on 1 June 2011 they had a Business Plan approved by the Football League. The FL have of course been keeping their eye on Pompey and monitoring their performance ever since we were relegated to the Championship.

Part of that Business Plan would have been the cash flow forecast which would include all of the anticipated income and expenditure items and an updated monthly or even weekly cash balance. If at any stage Portsmouth Football Club looked like be unable to meet their obligations fund would have been available from the owner (CSI) to tidy them over until cash was received.

The forecast would have included Wages, Creditors and HMRC plus all forms of income including the Premier League staged parachute payments. CSI also made the decision to invest heavily in the club`s future to the tune of £10.5m. That was spent of new players - Huseklepp etc., sorting Tal Ben Haim`s contract, stadium improvements etc.

One of the major criticisms levelled at the club I recent days is the number of players at the club earning £20k a week far more than can be afforded by the average Championship side. Those wages though would have been built into the Business Plan!

All was going well, David Lampitt has told the Fans Conference that the club was running almost at break even, and then it all imploded. Vladimir Antonov was arrested in November 2011 and a few days later stepped down as Pompey Chairman. CSI then went into Administration and our old friend Admin Andy started his search for a new owner.

It was said then that Pompey could survive for a couple of months but would then need an injection of cash to survive. The club then presumably had to start to be ultra careful with the cash they had and that meant delaying payments to the HMRC gas and electric and then in January the staff.

The problem was simply Cash Flow. We have all experienced it over the years I am sure when one chooses to pay all the bills when the RED one arrives. The cash flow problems were caused by the failure of the company approved by the Football League not by any wish to defraud the revenue or by simply over paying their players.

The critics are saying it was a crime not to sell players in the transfer window to raise funds to pay outstanding bills. This was of course attempted by the club but players chose not to leave and they have contracts which MUST be honoured. It appears as though there were no interested clubs in our high earning stars and once again you cannot just kick them out.

Fans would also argue that it is not their fault the predicament the club finds itself in and they have paid for their season tickets and do not wish to see their team broken up when the FL need to take at least some of the blame.

FL not capable of carrying out financial checks as I told the Fans Conference it MUST be done by the Financial Services Authorities!!


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Sunday February 19 2012
Time: 1:00AM


Kitson, well I've made more thoughts about him clear for a long time- a bit of work rate once every three games and an unyielding ability to miss make him unsustainable in my eyes. We've been waiting for that convincing form since game 3 after his arrival. Pompey were frequently better without him. The return of Thorne is great news, it's a shame we couldn't get his mate back then there would be no need for Kitten at all. I think Pompey could be in more peril than before - my reasoning is that AA was extremely motivated to keep Pompey going so BC could get his money back- we know this. The new guy has no such obligation or commitment to BC and is therefor much more likely to realise the assets and wind up the remainder ie sell players, then kill the club.
19/02/2012 08:36:00
Yep, I have to agree after watching his play yesterday (Sat). His late challenges made him look unfit, with no role to play, so he toddled off. Like Utaka, obvious ability, but always a joy to play against if you are the Npower league opposition defender? "No problem boss, he's in my back pocket!" TB Haim played well again yesterday, obvious class act. Mullins unlucky with his sliding tackle on the second goal too. 10 men put in a shift that should have garnered a point.
19/02/2012 09:00:00
what makes you think that the new administrators are less motivated than admin andy was to keep the club going russ?
i would actually suggest that these would be more willing to - that is unless there is no realistic chance of survival, in which case rather than letting us limp on a little while longer to ensure the premier league money comes in for chainrai to get back his lot and then let us rot away anyway they will call time, no?
19/02/2012 09:18:00
Dave the Union flag at the Rangers game. Glad it got noticed. My brother and Pompey friends went to the game in support of a Rangers fan who they have been dragging to Pompey games over the last year. It was his sons first SPL game.
19/02/2012 10:08:00
Kitson is now 'officially' in my Top Ten worse Pompey players ever.. I have never liked the guy and don't feel he is a hard worker (as others often do) to me he has been largely lazy and untalented... now add stupid to that list .. DAVID YOU LET THE TEAM DOWN (AGAIN) ..
19/02/2012 11:29:00
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