Toast Season 5#32 = Down but still alive
So Pompey slid noisily out of the Championship yesterday afternoon losing 2-1 to Derby County at Fratton Park. As most fans expected that result was incidental as Bristol City beat an under strength Barnsley side at Ashton Gate. Coincidentally Pompey`s last game at the third level was back in May 1983 was also in the West Country ay Plymouth.
The game was a low key affair especially after news came through that City had taken an early lead. Overall Pompey deserved something from the game hitting the woodwork in each half but to be honest it didn`t really matter - I have not said that often during my time watching Pompey.
The fight ahead to save the club is more important and yesterday was a great show of the bond between the club and the fans and that will be vital in the weeks ahead. Last night`s Derby Telegraph described ' the overwhelming emotion at Fratton Park was one of dejection`, not the Fratton Park I was at as the fans send up a chant 'let`s pretend we are going up!` and the ground then began to party.
The majority stayed behind to applaud the players on a lap of appreciation many of who will probably never call Fratton Park their home again. There were special farewells to King Kanu and Benjani but the biggest cheer was for boss Michael Appleton who has worked tirelessly through the dark days in the futile attempts to keep the club up. Michael the fans really appreciate your efforts and want you to stay and hopefully finish the job. Not many managers are that popular after they are relegated.
Of the loan players most have done very well and Chris Maguire was noticeable by his absence yesterday with his 100% effort and buzzing everywhere harassing defenders. Scott Allan has been magnificent lately and deserved a goal yesterday after a long powerful run and seeing the ball come back off the crossbar.
Karim Rekik will also go on the be a very good player in the future after settling well on the left hand side of the defence and playing so assuredly. He has a great willingness to go forward too and quite where his best position will be has yet to be seen. I think he may even end up at centre back, remember too he is only seventeen.
Appy unearthed these gems on loan, maybe just maybe one or more will come back next season, I know the fans will welcome them back.
Must not leave yesterday without mention of another poor refereeing display by the man in black Michael Naylor. He seemed to miss most things especially the constant nudging of Kitson and Varney as they rose to meet long balls - the officials in this league have been poor all season and we must not expect them to get better next season.
The crowd of 17,770 was not a bad turnout for what could be Pompey`s last game ever. You had to shake hands with the fan next to you as you left just in case you do not see them again. Nice to see a small number of the visiting Derby fans applaud their counterparts for the support they had given to a side who had been relegated.
That is six relegations now for me and how I am looking forward to the Johnstone`s Paint Trophy next year. A League One tour may not have the ring of a European Tour but then that is the life of Pompey fan!
Surprisingly there was no Fan`s Conference meeting yesterday which at least gave me a chance to spend the last pre match session of the season with family and friends. Not sure I would write too much into the cancellation of the meeting but as fans we do need to meet soon.
We need to hear from Trevor Birch about his work and from the Trust about progress with the Community Share scheme. But of course TB and the Trust board are very busy especially with the final game and the last chance to advertise to fans the scheme attempt to find a few more to make their pledges.
he clock is ticking however and we must get together to continue the urgent work needed to save our club. With the meetings presumably to go on through the coming weeks and months. I attend every meeting I can but Vital Pompey needs to use their second seat to ensure continuity - any volunteers? You will need to live locally really as all meeting as in the City.
Hermanns back. His shoulder injury needs time to heal and he will spend time with Pompey to save him travelling to Coventry. Maybe we will see him on the Fratton Park pitch next season with Cov - another club he has relegated!!
Also taking advantage of Pompey hospitality is James Prior after breaking his leg for AFC Wimbledon at Crawley. Prior is a local lad who had impressed earlier in the season with Bognor and had a trial at Newcastle. The care facility was organised by Mr Bognor, Jack Pearce.
Some fans will know that Baker Tilly are investigating the affairs of Pompey`s former operating company.
In a letter to creditors obtained by Toast Geoff Carton-Kelly of Baker Tilly says `My investigations into the affairs of the company, prior to the original administration in February 2010, are still on-going, which may result in actions being taken against various parties, which if successful may result in funds available for creditors.`
The letter also says the payment agreements reached in Pompey`s Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) signed to bring it out of administration are 'no longer applicable` and will remain that way until 'the administrator of Newco recovers sufficient assets to enable a dividend to creditors.`
This has been a very tough season to write this blog and this was the worst. I like to write most in advance and then throw in the match thoughts etc. Not possible really this week with all the uncertainty but there was a bit of a silver lining to finish the day with the Middlesbrough result.
In the weeks ahead I will keep you abreast of the news that crosses my desk and some special on the 2012/13 season ahead (we hope). A look at new friends to make - Yeovil and possibly Crawley - and some specials on previous campaigns in Division Three.
PUP and keep the faith