Vital Football

Toast 6#12 - Nott Pompey's year

Toast 6#12 - Nott Pompey's year

Pompey slipped meekly out of the FA Cup yesterday. They looked totally out of sorts and ended with just ten men after Scott Allan was sent off when the red mist descended on the diminutive young Scot.

It was only after the game when I heard of the road accident he had been involved in earlier in the day that I had some sympathy with him. The incident has left a pedestrian in a serious condition in a specialist unit in hospital - was Scott in the right frame of mind to play even though West Brom had given permission for him to play?

There is no real point spending column inches writing about the game in detail as it was instantly forgettable. The two County goals came when attacks were no cleared and players were left in plenty of room to head in the resultant cross. One had to feel sorry for back up keeper Simon Eastwood who had a faultless game and showed a clean pair of hands on every occasion the ball came into the box. He also showed a keenness to get the ball away quickly rather than just kicking long onto a defender`s head.

Up front Pompey had no threat whatsoever with Luke Rodgers particularly ineffective. Notts County just about deserved their victory but were no more than workmanlike. One sad note was the crowd of just 7,560, which included a lot of children taking advantage of kids for a quid. Large swathes of season ticket holders were absent particularly around me.

Now onto Brentford on Tuesday night and that won`t be an easy game either.

Fans Conference

After quite a break the conference met yesterday and had a detailed briefing from Ashley Brown and Mick Williams of the Pompey Trust on the latest position on the takeover bid.

Ashley stressed that during the current negotiations fans had to respect that some details had to be kept confidential; that of course did not stop members asking questions.

He added that the Football League had done well in the process and had closely scrutinised Portpin asking them many questions that they could not answer fully , without doubt Mike Hall`s articles and others have been key in providing ammunition. He knew the members of the FL board had read the articles and believes they were acting on some of the information therein.

On getting preferred status the Trust had made an offer for Fratton Park which not surprisingly Portpin had rejected.

The deal to buy club must be on the Trust`s term for the club to survive; no agreement equals no deal! There are key meetings with PKF early next week.
If agreement is reached with PKF then the Prospectus will be issued in a few days. I am hoping that Pompeytim will give us his opinions on that long awaited document when it arrives.

A court case will soon ensue where under the Insolvency Act 1986 PKF will tell the court they have sold the club and the Judge will order that the fixed charge on Fratton Park is released. At a subsequent hearing hopefully before Christmas a judge will decide at what value the asset (stadium) should be sold. The Trust at present have five independent valuations all bar one are less than the offer to Portpin. A QC has been briefed to represent the Trust.

Lawyers are confident that the deal can all be sealed in the Trust`s favour by mid December.

Get your money in and think hard about adding your name if you have not already. Finance deals are available and tax benefits can be made. Ken Malley from the Trust reported that about a dozen fans a day are getting details still from the website.

The group formerly known at High value investors are at present meeting the legal bills. This group will be known as Presidents in the future. To become a President you need to invest £50,000.

Now there was lot more said during the near two hour meeting and I will answer any questions members have if I can. But the best alternative is to wait for the Prospectus and get reading then send in your questions.

One for Andy

I have been asked by Andy Awford to distribute information about the event below. This is a fundraising event for the Academy

Portsmouth FC Academy Race Night

Friday November 23rd, starting at 6.30pm in the Victory Suite under The Fratton End.

All welcome.

Food available and bar will be open.

Great raffle prizes to be won.

Support this cause please fans!


Former Pompey boss Tony Pulis has completed 10 years at Stoke! Love the style or hate it you have to admit that what he has done in the Potteries is a great achievement. Talking of bosses Appy is still at Fratton Park which has to be good news with most vacancies now filled. Henning Berg to Blackburn was a surprise and not sure Rovers fans are overjoyed perhaps they will campaign for Steve Kean to return!

Back at Stoke former Pompey star Marc Wilson suffered a broken leg against Sunderland - good luck and a speedy recovery Marc!

Familiar faces from the past

Recently the England bosses at different levels have been seen a great deal with Webster making his debut for the U18s and now selected for the U19s and the Schoolboys side in action on Sky. To the fore at both games were Noel Blake and Kenny Swain - now what have they got in common?

Noel Blake was a rarity in football as he moved from Villa to Birmingham and then scored the winner against his old to rub the salt into the wound. He joined Pompey in 1984 and became a big favourite with the fans for the way he used his massive physique to good effect. Had low spots as well with his own goals and there are still some who say he was racially abused by his own fans including the man himself!! Those were not good days on the Fratton terraces or in society in general - have things really that much now I ask. Noel finished his career at Exeter not far short of forty and has worked for the FA for the last five years.

Kenny Swain is one of a rare breed having played over one hundred games for now fewer than five clubs. He began his career as a striker at Chelsea and then after being sold to Villa he was converted to a full back and won the European Cup with them in 1982. After Villa he joined Forest, Pompey and Crewe playing on until he was forty. He had the honour of being in the PFA team of the year for both 1981 and 1982. (Noel was also in the PFA Division Two side for 1987) As a former striker he scored goals for every club except Pompey. He of course played in the same promotion side as Blakey but was (and still is) ten years older.

Gilbert and Hardyman of course completed the regular back four in those days and they have both also experienced football from the touchline with Paul on the Academy staff and Billy managing the Hawks. Not often that the whole of a back four are successful in management is it? (Billy was also in the PFA Division Two side for 1985)

Long trip in store

On the subject of the Youth team they now know their opponents in the FA Youth Cup 2nd round as Woking beat Carshalton in the week. The 'prize` for the winners is a trip to Bolton in round three. A big expense for no income - can a club in Administration or a non league side really afford that. As for the FA Cup round 1 I believe the Youth Cup needs to regionalised as I think it used to be.

Did you get to watch the two Capital Cup games on Sky this week? I did and what treat for the neutral - twenty one goals in 240 minutes - nightmare for managers though. One talking point was Brain McDermott the Reading boss complaining about the about of extra time referee Kevin Friend added on. When the board went up it denoted a 'minimum` of four added minutes. McDermott then tries to run the clock down by making a substitution and there was time wasting too. Friend rightly added time on for those and I thought he had an excellent game - now I have never said that about him when he has handled Pompey games.

I also caught a snippet of Roberto Di Matteo praising the same official on Sky Sports News - Kevin have you changed your spots?


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Date:Sunday November 4 2012
Time: 1:00AM

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Good Toast! Disappointing day yesterday and particularly Allan getting himself sent off. When is Howard going to strt eing the player and captain he ought to be in this league?? Interesting point about the regionalisation, surely a much better way to do it?! Hoping for better on Tuesday, but theywill be tough! PuP
04/11/2012 07:49:00
Well, where do you start disecting that utter tripe? Lets start with Appy shall we. Comments stating that the league is the priority (yes we appreciate that) when both the club and the trust are crying out for the income from a decent cup run are not helpful. It doesn't really do much for the 'Pack the Park' campaign does it Appy? Also, standing on the touchline with arms folded like a Russian tank driver will not inject urgency and passion into the team's performance! When he did become passionate, it was at the expense of a card and the damage was already done). Lets move on to one or two of the playes next shall we? Rogers and McCleod (spelling alert), I realise they are not used to playing together and that losing Thomas was a big blow, but I was sick to the stomach watching Notts County's defenders casually being allowed to stroke the ball across the back line as if it were a practice match without our attackers at the very least snapping at their heels. As for the rest, with the odd exception, when was the penny going to drop that lofted balls to this front pairing wasn't going to produce any results? Now the controversial bit which may land me in hot water. The referee's performance yesterday, ably assisted by his visually challenged assistants, in my opinion, was directly affected by the Clattenberg fiasco at Stamford Bridge. It seemed to me that any offence by a coloured player in Notts colours was either totally ignored, or at best attracted a bit of a finger wagging, rather than a card. Also, they were even allowed to taunt the fans in the Fratton end (trying to attract a racist reaction perhaps)? This also extended to a coule of assaults during the sending off fracas by the touchline which were worthy of red cards not yellow. All three of the spineless officials were in my opinion treading on eggshells and their performance was disgusting and inept. I may be wrong, but in the cold light of day, I can't shake off that suspicion! The manager and players owe us big time on Tuesday, (I have already got my Bury tickets otherwise on the back of that performance yesterday I really wonder whether it is worth the trouble and expense). Shame yesterday that amongst the paultry crowd, there was a serious number of the kids (you know Appy, the fans of the future) and they wouldn't have been inspired by what they saw). My blood is still boiling this morning so I had better bring this rant to an end with the only word which sums up my mood.......Bollox!
04/11/2012 10:11:00
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