Important Day On And Off The Pitch
It could be the biggest day in Portsmouth's 112-year history, both on and off the pitch, as the side travel to St Marys Stadium, home of fierce rivals Southampton, as they do battle in the FA Cup fifth round.
Both sides will be looking to get one over on their opponents in the South Coast derby, but the financial side of the game could be of more importance to the visitors, as the club need to raise funds within the next eight days, or face liquidation, leaving the 200,000 people of Portsmouth without a football club.
The Blue Army received a 'stay of execution' on Wednesday, after a court hearing regarding the £11.5M owed to the Inland Revenue was adjourned for nine days, saving the club from the dreaded scenario of liquidation.
The repercussions of such actions could be massive for the side, as a win against their oldest rivals could earn the club a reported £200k, which could go a long way to repaying at least some of their unpaid tax bill. The television coverage, live on ITV, will also bring in a substantial cash injection for both sides, which could add up to and around another £100k onto the match-fee.
With the match set to be a sell-out, even though both sides have been struggling for attendances all season, the ticket revenue would also bring in a significant income, with 40% of the ticket sales being distributed to Portsmouth.
The big problem regarding this, however, is the above payments wouldn't have to be made to Avram Grant's until up to fourteen days after the match, with the club just six days away from a return to the high courts.
In the adjourned meeting, Portsmouth FC have to produce a cash flow and a report detailing the finances distributed by the club, with labelled intentions on how the club will go forward, after a reported two investors interested in taking over the club.
On the pitch, the visitors have received a boost as Serbian left-back Dusko Tosic has won clearance to join the Premier League side, adding to the defensive ranks available for the match, following Ricardo Rocha's red card against Sunderland on Tuesday night.
Playing the former-Bremen star would allow Algerian winger Nadir Belhadj a more free-role on the left side of midfield, keeping him as far away from our 18-yard box as possible.
Either way, whether you've managed to use Portsmouth's ludicrous ticketing system or will be watching it at home your nearest drinking hole, it'll be a close-fought match between the sides, both looking to access the bragging rights for at least another eight months, until we know which divisions will home each team for next season, if at all…Written by Dan Brett aka PompeySedge
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