Vital Football

Moneybags Pompey

Moneybags Pompey
Well we broke the bank with the signing of 7 million-rated Sulley Muntari and gave out further proof of Sacha's hefty investments with the double signings of David Nugent and John Utaka, both costing 6 million and (allegedly) 7 million respectively. This adds up to a total of 20 million total, spent on only three players. You can almost hear good ol', tight fisted Milan Mandaric retching after hearing that.

So now that we've spelt out the most defining pieces of evidence that officially classifies Pompey as a wealthy club (no more 1.5 million club record breakers), we as the fans who are the ultimate critics to the club need to think about the drawbacks to this future of our most beloved club: every transfer window exceeding some 15 odd million quid. There's no going up with something going down, and as any clever clogs will correct me in my wrong recital of the previous quote, that the thing going up and down is the same thing, IN SIMPLE, I'm saying that Pompey WILL find some problems along the way up the ladder. You know this as well as I do of course.

Taking in the possible downsides in minor to major chronology, let's have a look at Chelsea's summer of '06 signings. I'm not going to start with Andriy Shevchenko for this example (and I'll tell you why in a bit), but instead with Dutch international Khalid Boulahrouz. This highly rated defender was plucked from the German top flight for a mere (in the eyes of the chosen one, Jose Mourinho) 7 million. As the race for the Premiership with Manchester United came along, Chelsea encountered problems in defence during mid season, with an injured club captain John Terry proving the most notable reason for leaky games and a run that saw more goals conceded than games (during January and February) and new boy Boulahrouz didn't do much good and, as result, Chelsea lost control of the Premiership title to Manchester United whose only problem in defence last season was Rio Ferdinand's uncanny desire to nudge the ball past van der Sar, a moment last season most Pompey fans hold dear.

And now, because he wasn't able to adapt to the Premiership in such short time, Boulahrouz has been shown the door, hinted by Mourinho in a recent press conference on the topic of Robben's future at Chelsea: 'I don't see anyone else leaving," said Mourinho "Boulahrouz is leaving and that's the best situation". It appears to be the best situation for poor old 7 million Khalid to leave, just because he had a poor season full of bench warming and lack of adaptation. Would we think the same way if Muntari had a poor season (I do not doubt him though)? Although to be fair, the managing strategies of Redknapp and Mourinho are very different, but the problem of a rubbish player coming along for a huge sack of money is still present. You can see why I didn't choose 30 million-rated, 3 goals a season 'Sheva' as a good example, he's just too obvious.

Now for the major possible drawback, doing a 'Leeds'. Basically sign up unhappy players for incredibly large and unnecessarily amounts of cash and then don't pay taxes for several years, adding to the already large debt. The fuel for the Leeds fire came in the form overspending, crappy management and poor morale. I'm not saying that this will happen to Pompey of course; it's merely the worst that could happen and Leeds are now in League 1 Portsmouth saw their first season in the Premiership the year that Leeds got relegated, in just 4 years and two relegations later, that's an incredible decline for Leeds.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves and focus on our objectives. Hopefully Redknapp won't make any signings that are not too amiss to the kind of players Souness and O'Leary would chase.

By Lysimachus

Date:Saturday July 14 2007
Time: 12:25AM


Intresting article pompeyug. I cant help but feel it slapped my nice mood round the face a little though! I total understand that we need to be a little carefull with our pennies, & also keep focused on the real goal. But I'm not sure how long I want to think about these points right now. I think this is the time we need to be enjoying ourselves as much as possible, I guess for the very reason of this article, a fall from grace can happen so quickly its scary!!! so I guess, lets be on our gard, but enjoy the moment as much as possible!! :)
15/07/2007 08:23:00
Good article Rug. I was thinking along the same lines myself in the week. Mr Half empty, that's me i'm afraid. I am loving where we are right now, but can't help worry a little about the Leeds effect. That scenario is all too easy to fall into. Expectation is so much higher than it was 2 years ago, when we were all just glad to survive in the top flight. Last season however things seemed to change a little, grumblings about all manner of things, the bar has been raised and there is no going back. Apathy crept in last season; so many games at Fratton wern't Full houses. Europe, That holy grail could also be our undoing. How long will we and the money men accept our non participation? Who knows?. Newcastle, Villa, Spurs, Bolton etc all have this scenario and it can have a hugely negative effect for everyone connected with the club. Sorry to sound all negative, but i have the same fears as stated in your article. I enjoy supporting our great club too much, even when times have been lean, I just hope we don't try too hard to run before we can walk. Look forward to the rollercoaster that is Pompey...ENJOY!!!!
15/07/2007 09:18:00
Good article Lysimachus, speculate to accumulate also, no good merely surving in the Prem, the riches at the other end of the scale are extreme, if we can dip our toes into the European waters, 20m will be well spent and more than replenished
15/07/2007 10:05:00
I have lso thought about this but there is a difference, in that pomey fans are a little patient compared to leeds fans and chelsea is a club that was ( some say still is) in management turmoil. It is also wrong to consider a player who takes time to settle in Rubbish, i recall going to drink with the bar codes ( worth doing chaps) and them saying (that Martins *****e ees fo0kin roobish). Assuming thast the odd morons arent allowed to get the hole crowd on Nugents back so far all our newbies show signs of beding in. as for the finance, Chelsea well they're probably not to bothered. Leeds were mortgaged to the hilt. Like most clubs our players budget is basically sky TV money ( you will recall i bored you all about this last season) and as a club Pompey's value is on the way up. the fixture list is not as helpfull but i think we should be in the UEFA next season, although every other club has strenghthened in the off season and whilst i dont think Giovani apart we will be buying more there is still a month of the window to go and other clubs will be. For example no one has bought Yak yet
15/07/2007 10:18:00
Thanks everyone, I thought the article was a bit messy in some parts.
15/07/2007 10:37:00
great article, but one point you didnt make was the danger of "dooing a west ham" - whereby clubs spend massive amounts of money on playors that only move becuase of the money. whilst i dont think that we fall into this category - it is important that other clubs do not see us as a club that plays without passion, and has bought our way into the position that we are in. Fortunatly, we are ok (i think) at the moment, howver we could be in danger of being bunched with the lkes of west ham and man city in being the big-spennding failures.
15/07/2007 10:43:00
I can relate to the article. The more money we spend on a player, the harder they fall - if they fail. But it's a little bit different this year because of the TV payments. We are one of the biggest spenders this year but it seems everyone else is spending big to survive.
15/07/2007 11:32:00
Rug, you are right, you only have to look at Sheff Wed, Forest, Leicester and Leeds to look at how things can go wrong, mind you we have been there ourselves. I think our signings are pretty shrewd and we would appear to take great care in all our financial dealing which is probably why supporters like me get irate with the club. We need another good season and then more investment to move up to the next level.Harry does what Allardyce did, shrewd signings instead of wasting money on big names who dont cut it.
15/07/2007 11:59:00
Money is fantastic, great players moulding into a good squad isn't always easy. A bit of patience as the song goes, and we'll be ok. Preserving our Prem place is what matters, the higher up the league the better. All the clubs mentioned havn't preserved themselves. Whether it be 7th or 17th we must preserve for the lomg term. Sometimes there isn't much in it as we have seen in the last 4 seasons. We have a very solid base & don't need to make wholesale (Newcastle/Man City) changes. Blend the right types at the right time & I think we have just about done that.
15/07/2007 12:39:00
agreed storagmatt i just worry, cos i have to have the something to worry about so its fixture list, it will make things tougher this year as we wont really have the time to build that team before we play the expected top 5. Most media pundits had us in the bottom 7 at the end of september as did a lot of pompeyfans personally i saw us getting 7 from 12 and mid table, but as you say storage we have a bit of a base now so i wonder where the media places us at the end of september now.
15/07/2007 17:55:00
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