Date:Monday March 24 2014
Purely by chance I ended up in the boardroom after the game with York at the weekend, and have to say I was impressed by the guys I met.
I was not introduced to any of them to talk to me exactly, it was merely as I was with someone else who had to see them but they spoke honest and openly and showed, for me, just why this club needs to be run like it is now and I did not see any 'billy big bollocks' type peacock strutting to be honest, which it has been said has been the case...
They are the same as you or I, as passionate as you or I, and spoke about the game 'like fans' and not 'money men', which as difficult as things are at Fratton right now is exactly what we need off the pitch.
My good friend Ken Malley, a member of the PST board and very much into the 'politics' of football was driving back to Devon so we decided that rather than me hand around for another night I would come back with him - the original plan was for me to wait in the Victory bar of something but the phone call came on Saturday morning 'you're coming in with me', much to my surprised.
I am not a member of the PST board, nor am I even a member in all honest any more, so I was very surprised by this.
Those that know me will know that I am quiet, I do not rant of rave and rarely 'put myself forward' but must say I enjoyed my time rubbing shoulders with some of the characters that run the club, the chairman, the CEO and one of the presidents - even the manager came in later on, I thought it best not to 'offer my advice' to him...
Like I say, these characters are just like you or I, the difference being they have either put in a hell of a lot of money or been voted into particular roles.
Yep, they might have made mistakes but it is all a learning curve but they have also done more than just 'tarted up' Fratton Park in my honest opinion and some of the criticism that come there way is probably unjust.
I cannot sit here and say that I am still not convinced that Mark Catlin had a big part to play in the appointment of Richie Barker, which if it does not come off will possibly need him answering more than a few questions, but the limited time I was around I was impressed with the honesty shown and openness afforded by those people.
If anything perhaps there was too much honesty, which surprised me!
It is not perfect but it is OURS and being run like we are is the only way to have a long-term future, this season was not meant to be this tough and they have made mistakes, they will admit this I am sure, but decisions in the best interest of PFC, and not always their personal investments, have/will be made.
No doubt some will read this and think that I have been 'taken in' by this and that but I can assure you, as much as I was surprised that one of them actually knew who I was as when introduced as Russell who knew I was 'pompeyrug', that I was not spoken to individually as such I just shared some views and opinions on this and that and took in what was being said.
The vision is good, the passion is undoubtedly there the biggest question mark that many of us have is the one 'is the manager right?' - and when I say we, I mean us as in fans talking on this and other forums, I am not suggested that anyone on the board suggested that!
That being said though, whilst not likely to make knee jerk reactions that 'a fan' could, I come away pretty sure that if another difficult decision was needed with Barker then it would be but the backing he has got has been great, again I come away very much knowing that the manager has been given the full support that he has asked for.
What we have, as far as ownership goes, is what we need in my opinion.
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Date:Monday March 24 2014
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