Toast Season 5#26 - an uphill battle ahead.
On occasions like yesterday the result is often unimportant but defeat to an average Middlesbrough side saw Pompey slip to join Doncaster at the foot of the Championship.
The team did just not perform and at times seemed to get in each others way in their efforts to push the team forward. The midfield particularly was guilty of poor distribution which piled more pressure on the back four.
Referee Kettle certainly brought Fratton Park to the boil with some strange decisions and I think there were ten bookings and a number of incidents went unpunished. Will we ever find a decent referee in this division? The medical staff were also busy throughout with six minutes added to each half.
Before the game Ticket office boss Elaine Giles had expected a crowd of 16,000 and she slightly underestimated as 16,770 was the final turn out. I think that made it the second highest number of Pompey fans in attendance at a game this season. Perhaps the plea made by Chix and me amongst others pricked a few consciences and with the sun out people were attracted to the old ground. The atmosphere was again fantastic but sadly the performance was lacking.
We now have two tough away games at Reading and Brighton in the next week and the constant worry that other players will be moved out means that the club`s survival has to come before the team. All we can do is to keep the volume up in support and the eleven on the pitch and the manager who are trying their hardest is such difficult circumstances.
Good to meet up with so many of you both in the Rutland and at elsewhere. With Frippy over from Ireland and Lemmi travelling from Dundee there is no doubting the VP members resolution.
Before the game I was one of a dozen or so fans representatives who met with Administrator Trevor Birch. Once again he impressed us with his open attitude and was involved in a frank exchange of views with us all. The Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson also made an appearance to show the City`s support for the fans.
Martin Goodchild the head of PKF was also at the meeting. Being a keen football fan he had come to watch the game and insisted he had paid for his ticket.
TB began by talking about his last seven days and how he had been trying to secure the funding necessary to reach the end of the season. The Football League had constantly pleaded poverty but after days of talks he now hopes that the cash we need will be available on Monday!!
Next Tuesday he starts the fight with Hacker Young over the money held in lieu of fees they claim are owed to them - that amount almost exactly equates to the saving made from the loan of Liam Lawrence to Cardiff City. As he said what I save on one hand someone takes away with the other.
Meanwhile on the horizon now has appeared the familiar face of Balram Chainrai and his Portpin company. On Sky Sports News this morning you will get a chance to see a full interview with him which was recorded on Friday. Now that should be interesting - no doubt if you miss it it will be on the Sky Sports website.
Gerald Vernon-Jackson said that he had talked to Chainrai that morning and he was still mystified why he received such bad press. He still wants to save the club from liquidation and claim to have a buyer to take control once he has stabilised the club!
TB then asked us to vote on whether we would rather go with Chainrai or rely on Plan B? We all felt that was a very unfair question and after a rather lively debate most concerned over the possible return of no t only Balu but also Levi Kushnir.
The outcome we all eventually agreed to was to request a meeting with Chainrai through the offices of the Council Leader. Fans would be represented by a small elected group but we would all meet together to agree what questions we would like answered.
TB on answering a question said he was attempting to arrange a meeting with Sacha Gaydamak but that his calls had not been returned - he would not let it drop though.
TB was full of apologies for the problems with ticket sales in the past week. He said he had instructed his staff to ensure that ct price deals were in place at the start of the week but nothing had been done.
He also promised to ensure that the ticket office was open match-days as fans turning up were confused about where to buy tickets - that he said would be sorted out.
Asked why the Pompey shops were no longer selling tickets he gave a curt reply that Kappa who have the franchise wanted to take too bigger a cut. He added that to help the club the most spend your money on tickets or programmes then all the income comes to the club.
On other points he confirmed that David Lampitt was dealing with the Genoa debt for KPB. The Admin Cup Final between Pompey and Rangers was still a distinct possibility although arrangements has stalled this week with the turmoil surrounding the Scottish giants. Trip to Ibrox anyone? Two legs seems to be the obvious format.
think that covers everything and when I get Bill Gillon's notes I will publish them in the forum. Any questions though fire away!!
Things perhaps look a little brighter and TB left us in no doubts as he said in his programme notes he will do everything to save the great club!
On a final note TB said that he had had a chat in the week with Matt Dickinson chief football correspondent of the Times at the weekly press conference. Dickinson had said it was the first time he had come across Appy as a manager and he was hugely impressed - we are all with you there Matt.
The fans though have all kept together and are working as an effective unit. That is due in no small part to the role of Ashley Brown and current chair Tony Goodall despite what TB referred to at the 'crisis fatigue' that Pompey fans must be feeling. We will fight for our club through the tough times ahead you can be assured of that.
Stan Earl 1929-2012
Stan had suffered from Alzheimers Disease, and passed away recently. He may have played just eight times for Pompey in the early 50's but have a look at his CV.
is League debut was for the League Champions at Old Trafford - a goalless draw was the outcome. He also played in the Pompey side that won at Liverpool (our last win!) and Manchester City.
Stan was born in Alton and was a right back. He left Pompey to play for Leyton Orient, Swindon Town, Yeovil and Poole Town. He was renowned for his free-kicks and penalties.
Keep the faith all!! PUP