Date:Monday May 21 2012
With Rug taking a break from his editorial duties it falls on me to keep you all bang up to date with all things Pompey.
Jamie and Rocha released
Both Jamie Ashdown and Ricardo Rocha have been released by Pompey at the end of their contracts. Michael Appleton has decided that he will look for replacements rather than attempt to reach an agreement over new contracts.
The decision is a both a brave one by Appy but is one which will upset many fans as both were popular players. Ashdown was the longest serving player on the books at eight years since joining from Reading and Rocha had been voted player of the season by his colleagues just a few weeks ago.
Appy has obviously been given a licence to rule by both Administrator Trevor Birch and potential returning owner Balram Chainrai in driving down the wages bill to the target of £5m from a figure of over £11m although both Paddy and Rocha were not believed to be among the Pompey high earners.
It means all three players out of contract are released - Benjani being the third.
Let battle commence
One minute there are no parties interested in buying Pompey, the next minute the Administrator`s Office is full!
Well perhaps that is a slight overstatement but there two credible bids now and it looks as though there is little chance of those two parties working together in the future in the interest of the club and the fans.
First contender is our old 'friend` Balu Chainrai who has owned the clubs in a variety of guises in the recent past. He had said for some time that he would not let the club be liquidated which of course was a rather personal gesture as he is the clubs largest creditor and the assets would not cover his previous investment.
Second party who now have their hand clearly in the air is the Pompey Supporters Trust. They held public gatherings on Saturday and their push is definitely gathering real momentum.
The Trust told fans that pledge are continuing to flow in and they now have some major backers involved with several offering six figure sums and one half a million pounds. The City Council are also believed to be prepared to pitch in too.
There are however mixed messages coming from Trevor Birch about the possibility of a Trust bid but there is no doubt now that it is a credible and will be submitted in the next ten days. Fans while now having more confidence in the Trust and their capabilities seem to want to have more information which naturally the Trust will not give them YET. They will all be answered in the bid document so to the doubters I say if you want answers to your questions then it will costs you £2.50 - as that is the amount of your £100 you would lose if you do not like the final document. You are free to drop out at any time until you make your pledge.
One question that I would like answered is if the Company voluntary arrangement (CVA) contained within the Chainrai bid is put to a meeting of creditors does Chainrai get a vote? He is of course the largest creditor and with 75% by value having to approve it he would only need the agreement of CSI Administrator Andrew Andronikou to get it approved.
Is it right that he can vote on his own proposal? (Just as a reminder no CVA would mean a fifteen point deduction at the start of next season)
There are interesting times ahead and for those who are opposed to Chainrai and I know there are some out there, you still have a chance to put your money where your mouth is.
Off to the Rock
The trip to Gibraltar in late July is seen by Appy as being Vital to Pompey`s success next season.
With the boss expecting eighteen new players to arrive this close season it will be a chance for his to attempt to gel them into a unit capable of having a successful season in League One.
I think it is probably quite likely that a number of trialists will accompany the squad to give Appy the choice he needs. It is also likely that very few if any of the senior players will be back next term so the squad will be new recruits and a number of youngsters.
It has also been announced by Appy that the trip is being partly paid for by a couple of local businesses which is great news for the club who will have to meet the balance of the cost.
We all know that Appy is scouring the country for free agents to form his team of mercenaries for an assault on the League One crown in 2012/13. We have already had the name Izale McLeod released by Barnet at the end of last year. The prolific striker was named in the PFA team of the Year for League Two for the 2006-07 season and is also an England U21 international.
Any others out there who you have heard of as possible new recruits? Joe Mattock has been released by West Brom!
Let us know who your targets would be - and remember only £3k a week.
Pompey have just confirmed that Stephen Henderson has joined Premier League bound West Ham United. Not a shock but good luck Stephen you will so well i am sure. He has signed a three year contract.
Date:Monday May 21 2012
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