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The true extent of Pompey horror show

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David Bond | 16:53 UK time, Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Buried in the midst of the thousands of numbers that lay bare the true horror of Portsmouth Football Club, one stands out above all others.


This is the percentage of revenue the club spent on wages and overheads in the financial year ended 31 May, 2009.

What it tells you, quite simply, is that Portsmouth were spending so far beyond their means that their financial collapse was inevitable.

Other clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea might be able to sustain that sort of wages-to-revenue ratio. But they do so with the support of super-rich owners like Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour. Sacha Gaydamak and the succession of owners who have followed him either didn't have that sort of money or the will to keep writing the cheques.

What it also confirms is that, for all the talk of police investigations into missing money and conspiracy theories, the true tragedy of Portsmouth is that it was all done legitimately and by the book.

There is no need to spend hours poring over the fine print, looking for evidence that money was going missing. It was being walked out of the front door under everyone's noses.

Even in the nine months to the end of February 2010, when the club was trying to wrestle with the inflated wage bill, salaries and overheads still accounted for 98% of revenue.

And during the 21 months from June 2008 to February 2010, Portsmouth racked up pre-tax losses of £16.7m even though they made a profit during that time of £46m on the sale of players - big names such as Lassana Diarra, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Sulley Muntari.

crouch595dbgetty.jpgCrouch is now at Tottenham

Which of course begs the question: Who is to blame?

The Premier League unquestionably deserves to shoulder some of the responsibility for allowing a regulatory culture to develop where one of its member clubs could be so wasteful.

To be fair to the Premier League, it is starting to get its house in order and its new financial reporting rules now require clubs to prove they are being run in a sound manner at the start of each season.

If it has any doubts, it can demand monthly financial reports or withhold payments of TV monies and ban spending on player transfers and contracts. The "rank bad management" which the Premier League's chief executive Richard Scudamore blames for the mess at Fratton Park is unlikely to be given the chance to flourish elsewhere in the future.

And, ultimately, what can any league or governing body do if a club's management is hell bent on destruction?

Many people will blame Peter Storrie, the club's former chief executive, who was paid £1.2m a year plus bonuses to oversee this car crash of a football club.

Storrie has already tried to defend himself in an interview with the Daily Telegraph in which he claimed it was all down to three consecutive owners failing to put money in.

That succession of owners has, of course, played its part. The club's fans will undoubtedly feel that Sacha Gaydamak, in particular, should have done more to prevent the flow of money out of the club once it became clear the credit crunch was taking its toll on his family's fortune.

But having read through the pages and pages of horrific detail - the £120m of debts which include £30m to Gaydamak, £17m to the taxman, £9m to agents and £5m to former players - it is hard to believe that Storrie could not have seen for himself the full scale of the nightmare unfolding.

It is detailed here, in the 15 pages of local businesses and services who make up the list of trade creditors owed a total of £5m.

These are football's real losers. Companies and individuals who now face being paid only 23p in the pound of what they are owed because footballers and football creditors get paid in full first from the proceeds of any sale of the club.

They include:

The St John's Ambulance (for match day medical services) - £2,701
King Edward VI School (for training ground hire) - £41,714
Landscape Printing Systems (for printing equipment) - £949.33
Portsmouth City Council (taxes) - £28,690

The Premier League, using its beefed up fit and proper persons rules, already has grounds to disqualify Storrie from ever running a football club again on the basis that he has taken a club into administration.

It is also a possibility that the Premier League could investigate him for any discrepancies between what he said while he was in charge and what today's documents tell us about what was really happening.

Update: Thursday, 1210 BST

As if yesterday's release of the administrator's report on Portsmouth wasn't enough to darken the mood of the club's supporters, I have just learned that their appeal to play in the Europa League - which would have provided some much needed extra cash - has been rejected by the FA.

A meeting of the FA's professional game board considered whether to back Portsmouth's call to let them play in Europe next season. They had qualified for the Europa League by virtue of reaching the FA Cup final against Chelsea. With Chelsea already in the Champions League just reaching the final meant they would normally have been entitled to a place in Europe.

But Uefa's rules bar any teams in administration from entering their competitions and with the process likely to take weeks if not months to resolve, the FA decided not to back Portsmouth's appeal.

Another footnote to yesterday's shocking documents released by the administrator Andrew Andronikou: One of the big questions which emerged is how Portsmouth ran up a huge tax bill of £17.1million.

It turns out that they were continually missing deadlines with HMRC to pay the PAYE contributions of their players and other staff. What this means is that each month they would deduct the players' tax contribution but would then fail to pass it on to the taxman.

This is not a criminal offence but is considered to be a breach of an employers' legal responsibility.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I personally feel this club should be put out of its misery, the fans stood by and watched this going on.

  • Comment number 2.

    I remember an interview with Harry Redknapp earlier this year when he said that the Pompey fans shouldn't blame him cause of the quality of players he brought to Fratton Park. He seemed pretty oblivious to the fact that that was the whole problem and that he should have been managing the club to within its means. Though you could argue he was like a child who had irresponsibly been given his parent's credit card and let loose in a toy shop, kind of inevitable he'd try and buy the whole place.

  • Comment number 3.


    Storrie obviously did see this coming, it was happening before Gaydamak left so how can he accuse the owners after of not putting the money in? He liked to tell the media that he was basically running the club throughout anyway, well he has ruined Portsmouth, he is a money hungry, disgusting, pathetic excuse for a human being, never mind football fan, and it would be brilliant if he was now forced to get a job on minimum wage doing some rubbish, at a struggling company, ideally at one of the small business's he screwed over, see how he likes it.

  • Comment number 4.

    I don't quite understand 'in debt'. I heard a few weeks back
    Man Utd are ONLY £730M in debt!!!!yet they are yet to go to court.
    I suppose Man Utd manage to pay their tax bills on time.

  • Comment number 5.

    What about 'Arry?

    He signed the players, agreed the wages etc.

    Spurs fans watch out. He'll do the same to you.

  • Comment number 6.

    Why was I not surprised to find several names in the debtors list that feature heavily in the book 'Broken Dreams' by Tom Bower? For those who don't know, the topic is is corruption and the role of agents in football. Some of the fees Pompey owe to agents are astronomical, yet they do next to nothing to earn this money.

  • Comment number 7.

    This is outrageous.

    Funnily enough I used to go to King Edward VI school, so have always laughed when the state of Portsmouth's training pitches are commented on by the players in papers. But the figure of £41,714 is mind blowing,the real question now is whether this years cross country is going to be on?

    Can't believe we a Southampton based school trusted something out of Portsmouth. That being said, it was quite a special moment when I ordered my food at the canteen right by with Tony Adams.

  • Comment number 8.

    It seems to have become a farce now, just about everyone knew that they were spending beyond their means for years, yet no one did anything until it was too late.
    Who shoulders the blame?
    Ex-owners (there've been a few) and Storie must take some responsibility, but most of the blame lies squarely at the doors of the FA and PL, for both allowing it to go on because they didn't have any rules in place to prevent it happening and by introducing ridiculous 'fit and proper person tests', that themselves aren't fit or proper for purpose.

    The ridiculous rules for who gets paid first are both insulting and totally immoral too, St John's Ambulance and a local school being paid AFTER agents and the like, makes me sick to my stomach.

  • Comment number 9.

    who didn't see it coming, the board, the owner, the chairman, the directors, whoever, it's obvious the people in charge are to blame, they made the mess and the premier league have been too lazy for too long

  • Comment number 10.

    Its a financial disaster...but why do footballers and football creditors get paid out first and in full BEFORE other creditors?
    Isn't a football club like any other business?
    So why do they appear to get special treatment?

  • Comment number 11.

    If the money coming from Gaydamak was funds ment to be laundred through the system he has not made any loss but just white-washed them. But the main person to blame is of course Storrie. He should be banned for life from handling football cliub economy. And fined as well.

    I feel very sorry for Watford, now fighting against relegation in the Championship. They could have spent the approx. £2 million owed by Pompey on players in January and survive comfortably. Or having Tommy Smith playing for them scoring as he used to.

  • Comment number 12.

    Your blog leaves some of the biggest questions unasked: most importantly, how can the debts have doubled in a few months?

    There are a few possible explanations, most of which are extremely concerning. The most direct is that the statements supplied to the High Court, statements that were relied upon by the club to avoid winding up, were incorrect, either through error or deception. Either way, it would leave HMRC fuming and could be cause of further legal action. The second is that the current amounts are OVERSTATED, in an attempt to ensure that HMRC's debt isn't a sufficient proportion to block a CVA. This is a tactic that has been used before, and is entirely illegal.

  • Comment number 13.


    You are correct, Man Utd did what Pompey should have done, Pay the Taxman before spending cash on anyone else. That's why Portsmouth are in court and Man Utd get ridicule from other clubs for being so much in debt.

  • Comment number 14.

    @4TheHawk the difference between Man united and Pompey is that United's turnover is enough to pay their taxes, wages, and interest on their debt. Pompey's turnover isn't enough to pay their wages ......

  • Comment number 15.

    Notts County have been allowed to get away with over spending to. There is nothing really preventing these situations to occur in the first place. Its not enough to have these fit and proper tests, points deductions, over reliance upon owners.

    A bit like Politics where we're seeing a wind of change. When is the Premier League and the FA going to wake up and actually bring wage caps and bring agents into line? Still they will get 16 million next season as a reward for relegation and administration. Clubs like Scunthorpe will just run themselves correctly on the two million in the bank.

    The sickening reality is though. After all the problems of numbers of clubs. The FA still allowed Notts County to over spend and take the league two title within ONE SEASON. So quite frankly no one at the FA is taking debt or ownership seriously.

  • Comment number 16.

    5. At 6:21pm on 21 Apr 2010, ltfcunited wrote:


    No he won't, (as I've said for what must be the millionth time now) because Mr Levy's a shred chairman when it comes to finances.

    We mostly make a profit on player sales at Spurs, this year we've sold players in orger to generate funds for our purchases and he's already shown us he's not afraid to veto 'Arry's requests if he sees them as being a waste of money, (David James' proposed move being an example.)

    Simply put, we have our affairs in order. Pompey didn't and the blames lies with the money men who were quite happy writing out a blank cheque for 'Arry to spend.

    Give any manager a blank cheque and he'll go out and spend until the roof comes down.

  • Comment number 17.

    I would be interested to know what Premiership Clubs aren't running their finances at the limit. Isn't the Premiership model based on the fact that investors buy the clubs, then try to buy quick success and then sell the club for an inflated price.

    It all goes horribly wrong when they realise they aren't getting the quick success and then try to bail out of the club. Just look at the mess NUFC got in, if it wasn't for their loyal fans and owner wouldn't they be in the same mess.

    We all know the model is a train crash waiting to happen but we keep watching.

  • Comment number 18.

    Redknapp would have targetered the players he wanted, the board would say yes we can afford him and the wages and they negoiate to the best of their ability.

    Pompey demise has been brought down by the fat cats and the board room of dreamers who thought the good times will keep going!!!

  • Comment number 19.

    To deliberately rack up so so much debt and leave so many local businesses with so many unpaid bills is, at the very least, shameful and dishonest. Portsmouth has tens of thousands of unbelievable supporters who deserve better but this club should be kicked out of the league as an example to others. Its FA Cup successes have effectively been gained by cheating.

  • Comment number 20.

    It's pretty ignorant to blame Redknapp for Portsmouth's mis-spending. People blamed David O'Leary for Leeds, and some even blamed Gianluca Vialli for Watford's finacial problems in 2002. The fact is, in each case the board gave the manager money to spend on players, the managers spent it, and it later transpired that said money wasn't actually available.

    If someone gives me £20 and tells me to buy myself something, and I do, I don't think the person who gave it to me should feel the need to blame me when they end up being £40 in debt.

  • Comment number 21.

    Im not sure why some people on here are blaming Harry.

    He would have, just like every other manager in football and business in general, been given a budget which would have been set by the number crunchers and chairman. Provided he stayed within his budget, he holds no blame.

  • Comment number 22.

    The fact that charities, small companies and schools get paid AFTER the players, agents etc says a lot (and also I assume the lawyers and administrators). It is an outrage! Someone must take responsibility for this mess, all this 'nothing to do with me' is rubbish.

  • Comment number 23.

    I find it utterly incredulous, that at no point during the time that the Portsmouth heirarchy during the "living the dream" period, did the words 'Leeds' and 'United' go through any of their minds. I also find it unbelieveable that nobody seemed to find it strange that a club with arguably the worst stadium ever to have graced the Premier League and with no history of success at any level in the recent past was somehow managing to outspend not only half the Premier League, but also most clubs across Europe.

    The best thing that can happen for Portsmouth now is for them to spend a few seasons out of the media spotlight in the Championship while they somehow try and rebuild an undeniably shattered reputation. They used to be everybody's 2nd team, now I just can't wait to see the back of them.

  • Comment number 24.

    I think this will all come out in the wash. There's too much going on for them to hide anything now. Hopefully someone should use the Freedom of Information Act to reveal all. It's apparent that misleading financial information has/is being reported. There's court cases against individuals which will hopefully open this up.

    The FA under guidance from UEFA, should impose an independant regulatory body to view each club's accounts after every transfer window. With the Premier League's aggressive push to be the financially biggest league in the world, they've created a monster and they're not up to the task to soundly monitor it themselves.

    I'm not sure that the FA could handle it properly but this needs to be Europwide. I'm sure that M Platini would readily oblige. I'm not his biggest fan but I would have more faith in him to help the fans get our game back off the money men!

  • Comment number 25.

    1. At 5:51pm on 21 Apr 2010, Oh_when_the_beans wrote:

    I personally feel this club should be put out of its misery, the fans stood by and watched this going on.


    I really struggle to believe that any REAL football fan would want anybody else's club to go out of business.

    How on earth can the fans have a say in who is bought, and surely every fan has ambition etc? Any fan from any club would relish an opportunity to win the FA Cup or play in europe.

    Sad state of affairs, when ambition is mocked.

  • Comment number 26.

    Surely it is time for the FA to act. There flagship trophy has been tarnished by financial doping on a a mammoth scale. Portsmouth FC have shown a total disregard for the tax payers, for honest small local businesses and the rest of football. They have reached the Cup Final using players they can not afford to pay to knock out legitimately run teams. At least three of their potential Cup Final team should not play. Dindane is being allowed to play after quite clear manipulation of Lens's financial plight by Portsmouth. Rocha was signed when the club was under a winding up order. O'Hara has outstanding loan fees owing after a fee was agreed when the club was clearly insolvent, as was Owusu-Abeiye who scored a vital goal on the cup run.
    The FA Cup final will be a sham whatever the outcome and the FA should be ashamed of their inaction.

  • Comment number 27.

    This is more than tragic this is the death of a footall club.

    Football clubs, particularly in the Premier League have been operating at similar unsustainable levels with over-inflated players wages, outrageous agents fees, hiked season ticket prices, hiked single game ticket prices, reduced capacity due to the safety of all seater stadiums and all built on moneis given for TV rights - all this has over-inflated the game of which Portsmouth is merely the first of many possible bubbles to burst...

    Rupert Murdoch and Sky TV must bare some of the blame for the change in football culture and the top greedy clubs who argued for the formation of a Premier League in the first place all of which was inspired by utter greed and selfishness and, I may add, a business model advised by the infamous Saatchi & Saatchi...

    What an earth does Portsmouth need over 300 employees at the club for? And the financial outgoings/spending is outrageous. It seems Portsmouth owe money to everybody and anybody, the list of creditors is mindboggling..

    There also seems to be a picture of a lot foreign players being purchased from French clubs to get into the English game as a means of a "selling on" policy to make a profit but a policy which seems to have backfired, particularly after the recent credit crunch..

    The ones who'll suffer in all this mess is the smaller local businesses, schools, local government, employees made redundant and the fans let down, all of which, leaves a bitter taste in the mouth!

    The Premier League has a lot to answer for..

  • Comment number 28.

    Maybe now hitherto unfashionable clubs like Stoke and Wigan will receive their due credit for operating within their budgets and still achieving relative success.

  • Comment number 29.

    Post 19

    I'm afraid Portsmouth don't have tens of thousands of unbelievable fans. That is a myth. They don't even sell all of their home tickets from premier league games in a tiny ground (watch match of the day and look at the empty seats in the home sections). In no way can they be compared to Man City's fans who turned up in huge numbers in division 3. Look at Norwich too! Portsmouth fans don't deserve what has happened, but let's not pretend they number anywhere near many other clubs.

  • Comment number 30.


  • Comment number 31.

    Oh dear, when will Football ever learn? This is just the tip of the iceberg, i fear. As somebody has already said, it's basically, 'Financial doping'!! Spending money you don't have.
    But, as ever, the FA Premier League are burying their heads in the sand - particularly Richard Scudamore!
    While it will never happen, if you're in debt - you can't compete. And not only that - the Premier League just isn't competitive - the same teams every year. I'm surprised people still follow it in huge numbers.
    Remember when teams like QPR, Soton, Forest, Ipswich, Villa, Wolves, etc all challenged/won the Title - are you seriously telling me football today is better?
    Football started before 1992, despite what the modern media may tell you. Can we have our game back please?

  • Comment number 32.

    I disagree with Post 27 critising Sky and Rupert Murdoch?
    In 1992, it was seen as a model that allowed the English Clubs to rebuild a battered reputation and Sky just gave the Money that the League wanted.
    The only people to blame are the Portsmouth Hierarcy spending beyond their means and Scudamore at the Premier League.
    Sucdamore did nothing and to accuse the FA of doing nothing is silly, dont forget Scudamore wanted the FA to have nothing to do with the Premier League, didnt they remove the FA branding from the League Name a few seasons ago?
    The FA were helpess and Scudamore had the power to veto anything the FA would give.
    As for Notts County, they didnt spend beyond their means, they had Munto Finance, who pulled out and have just ran at a loss but I do believe that they will be flogging some of their top earners.

  • Comment number 33.

    But these were all fit and proper persons.

    Its grossly unfair on the minnows, like the St John's Ambulance.

    The FAPL has modified the rules of normal business through its governance frameworks and deserves serious blame for allowing this to happen.

    The FA should compensate all small creditors and the larger ones should accept that they will never get their money back.

    Nice deal for Chanari though!

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 35.

    A few days ago the news reported that the appointed administrator was saying that Pompey could be out of Administration by June.

    I don't know if this shows that he hasn't a clue or if a club can get out of adminstration by paying just 23p in the pound. If this is the case then there is something fundamentally wrong in the whole process. Spend, spend, spend and pay less than a quarter back! Previous owners I don't care about, but the list of local small business AND CHARITIES is obscene. Also the tax man may not be my favourite person, but what Pompey don't pay him, the rest of us will have to make up.

    A Premiership club this badly run must be made to pay the lot or be wound up - before the end of the season. Let's not have it done in the summer or during the World Cup when it will be overlooked.

  • Comment number 36.

    Be careful what you wish for........

    Suppose FA and PL have rigorous "fit and proper" test. Ali Al someone comes along to "save" your club. FA and PL say "sorry, we are not convinced" Club closes , cue posts "It`s not fair, they hate us, they wouldn`t do it to the big four" etc etc etc

  • Comment number 37.

    In my opinion, it is quite simple that Peter Storrie is the person most to blame here. When all is said and done he was CEO of a business that ran itself into the ground over a period of a few years. A basic principle of profit and loss is not that difficult to understand. If I spent three years spending way more than I earned, I would expect to run into serious debt. The man is a total liability and yet he can walk away leaving such a rotten mess behind him while people lose their jobs and companies are left seriously out of pocket.

    if this man had been in a similar position in the public sector he would have quite rightly been exposed as thoroughly incompetent and ran out of town. In fact he never would have got a CEO job in the first place - particularly if you look into some of the dealings he was involved in at West Ham.

  • Comment number 38.

    What I don't like is this idea that if you wind up a football club and write off its debts it seems to be able to reappear in the same league (albeit with a points deduction). Seems to me there is always a collective "its not the fans fault, players fault, managers fault" so its ok to continue.

  • Comment number 39.

    This is what Peter Storrie said in 2005:

    'If you chase dreams and let finances get out of control, you go out of business. But if you're clever, that doesn't happen. It all boils down to not getting into debt. You can't spend more than the income coming in. That's why we're trying to make prudent decisions. Wages and transfer fees are where the money goes. That's the thing you can't let spiral. The wage bill has to be sensible in relation to the income. We're getting the balance right'

  • Comment number 40.

    How come they were able to bring in players in Jan, when the accounts show virtual insolvency at that point?
    Looks like £70 million could be wiped out, for the cost of 9 points.

  • Comment number 41.

    The answer to the question of why the players figure highly in the list of those who are paid out is that they employees and, therefore, preferential creditors. The same will be true of the guys who sell the programs or clean the loos. They are staff and have a legitimate claim.

    On the more general question of who is to blame, the answer has to be anyone who was part of the process of turning football from a sport into an industry. The real culprit is the premiership which offers opportunities of promotion to wannabe clubs which don't stand an earthly chance of competing with the financial muscle of the Man Us and Chelseas of this world. They are offering a dreamworld to clubs which simply are not up to it.

    But before being too critical, perhaps it might be useful to look at sponsorship. Doesn't Man U carry the name of the biggest failed mortgage company in history on it's shirts? Isn't the premiership sponsored by a bank? (We all know what those are don't we?). The bottom line is that this is all about credit and sweet damn all about football. Time was when it was about money but suddenly no one has any of that any more.

    Well there's a surprise.

  • Comment number 42.

    Anybody see a pattern of behaviour in Storie's and Redknapp's careers - I am not making any allegations but there do seem to a number of co-incidences

    1983–1992 Bournemouth - Went into administration
    1994–2001 West Ham United - In deep financial doo doo
    2002–2004 Portsmouth - see below
    2004–2005 Southampton - went into administration
    2005–2008 Portsmouth - went into administration
    2008– Tottenham Hotspur - spent a lot there too

    Peter Storie
    West Ham - deep financial doo doo
    Notts County - ditto - constant talk of administration = court cases
    Southend - ditto - constant talk of administration + court cases
    Portsmouth - administration

  • Comment number 43.

    There's an obvious way to stop this happening again, stop making football clubs secured creditors. Teams will be a lot less willing to sell players to clubs that cannot afford them. They might actually (gasp) take some responsibility and police themselves.

  • Comment number 44.

    You cannot compare Portsmouth's finances with Manchester Uniteds. ManU almost always posts a profit. The debt put on the club is nothing to do with mismanagement, but was caused by a leveraged buy out which I find, incredibly, to be legal in this country.

    Before the club was sold to the Glazer family it had no debts of note. However, this ridiculous law that allows a company to be bought and then pays for it's own purchase to me is beyond belief.

    This type of company law has always baffled me. To my mind if you buy something, then you use your own money, and if anything goes wrong you are personally liable. It is time company law was sorted out so that greedy irresponsible people cannot just walk away, and do the same again elsewhere.

  • Comment number 45.

    Other clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea might be able to sustain that sort of wages-to-revenue ratio. But they do so with the support of super-rich owners like Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour.

    No they don't. Both Chelsea and City have vastly greater income than Portsmouth, I'd be seriously surprised if more than 60% of it goes on wages.

  • Comment number 46.

    1983–1992 Bournemouth - Went into administration
    - So did a lot of similar sized clubs in that period.

    1994–2001 West Ham United - In deep financial doo doo
    - Please elaborate, as far as I can tell until the Icelandics came along they were doing OK.

    2002–2004 Portsmouth - see below
    2005–2008 Portsmouth - went into administration
    - Fair enough

    2004–2005 Southampton - went into administration
    - Largely off the back of paying for St. Mary's while losing premier league status, before Redknapp's time most of that.

    2008– Tottenham Hotspur - spent a lot there too
    - Have they? Most of their signings have been reasonably priced, plus they have sold Keane (once, maybe soon twice) and Berbatov.

  • Comment number 47.

    I cannot believe people on here actually think that Harry Redknapp is to blame for bringing in top quality players! He's the first team coach, not the finance director.

    Football managers at Premier League clubs are only 'managers' by name. They don't actually work out how much money the club has, mull over turnovers, or sit and haggle over the finer points of players contract until the early hours of the morning. No, this is what people at the club, who get paid a huge amount of money to do so, have to do.

    Harry Redknapp is just a coach. But Peter Storrie should never be allowed to run a football club again.

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 50.

    Re 42 and 46. The Icelanders said that they inherited a lot of debt they knew not much of, they were naive, and proceeded to plow more money into the club.

    The point I was making that no other manager I know of has been in a pattern like that and no other Chief Exec (Storrie) has either, the closest being Ridsdale at Leeds and now Cardiff.

    Being a Leicester fan and now having an ex Portsmouth owner, who is facing tax fraud charges with 'arry, at the helm makes me wonder how long it will be before we head back into trouble.

  • Comment number 51.

    I'm fuming over this, no one will go to court except the club, while Storrie, Gadyamak, and Redknapp will all escape with their bonuses!
    Now what kind of CEO has a win bonus!? Plus transfer add-ons!? A greedy one!

    I really fear for the club I love, I've not enjoyed being at Uni constantly reading the news about our plight, fearing we could be wound up any time. It's a horrible situation.
    People say we have cheated to be in the FA Cup, but I tell you now, the pure joy and happiness that all Portsmouth fans had when we beat Spurs 2-0 in the Semi-Final I don't think even the FA Cup win of 2008 will top that. It wasn't even getting one over Harry (granted it was sweet at the same time), it was just being in the Final after going through so much hurt, to think only 7 years ago I was on the phone to my late Grandad with a big smile saying we are in the Premier League.

    But now we are relegated, and all I can say is bring on next season, and goodbye Premier League, as much as it was fun, I'm glad to see the back of it.

  • Comment number 52.

    @ #30 hi to you to :)

    @ #4 i think its been mentioned already but utd have the turnover to pay wages, tax and interest on debt in other words they are not insolvent, Pompey well and truly are insolvent as highlighted by that 108.79% figure and thats the big difference, if utd ever become insolvent and are unable to pay those three things from turnover then expect to see the same happen to utd as with pompey.

  • Comment number 53.

    how can it be possible that footballers (with all their wealth and football creditors) get paid before the local council, which is indicated with bracketed (taxes) after it. How can the Government, let alone th FA allow this to be prioritised over local government taxes. Being someone who works in Portsmouth, and has no love for money grabbing footballers. It is amazing to see these players accepting big paychecks, when local businesses are owed up to 5 million between them. I understand that a footballer signs a contract, and deserves his money. But surely they have enough honesty to realise A) the local trader could probably use it more than him and B) one of the main reasons the club is in dire straights is that the players are not performing, therefore do not deserve the money.

    I apologise for the rant, but I get continually frustrated by the arrogance of footballers to assume that they DESERVE to earn the money they do, when I am sure that the person on the end of the percentage of the 5 million, works as hard, of not harder, and has no recompense to the actions of a few.
    I sincerely hope that the players get together, and (even thought hey are under no obligation to) look down the back of their ferrari seats, and Gucci couches, and scrape together a few pennies for the local businesses

  • Comment number 54.

    Let's face it, after decades in the doldrums we were all dazzled by being in the Premier League and that what our main concern, but to have a go at us fans as being in anyway culpable is ridiculous. For those of you who think we are, maybe you can name the Premier League club where the fans opinions are genuinely considered and where the fans are so morally upright that they would NEVER behave in such a way?

    The only real way to avoid this is if the FA and PL take an active role in enforcing proper club management, just like happens in US sports. The Americans aren't naturally better at it but the leagues ensure that the clubs never go beyond their means and that players and agents don't screw the clubs and fans like is done over here. Maybe Scudamore should think again about taking a back seat. The FA is responsible for football in this country and they were the ones who initiated the money-grubbing split from the Football League in 1992. Now they claim they want to keep their hands off. It's a disgrace.

    I can remember the moment when I knew that it would all collapse, and it wasn't this season. It was September 29th 2007, my 32nd birthday and the day we beat Reading 7-4. I looked at our team, thought about how much they cost, then looked at Fratton Park and predicted we'd be gone in 2 seasons, so they lasted longer than I thought.

    Let's be honest though, we had great fun. Other clubs have ended up in the same situation as us; Leeds tried to buy their way into European glory and Southampton and Leicester thought a big new stadium would solve everything. Other clubs tried to push their limits and plummeted down the tables AND nearly went bust. There is one big difference between them and Portsmouth: WE WON A TROPHY. For all the blustering, the sneering, the arrogance and hypocrisy of the rest of the league, we won the 2008 FA Cup. Since our first year in the Premier League (2003/2004) only 3 of the 20 trophies on offer have gone to a club outside the Big 4 and 2 of those were in the League Cup (Middlesborough 2004, Spurs 2008). So for all the finger-pointing and "I told you so" rubbish let's get one thing clear; Pompey achieved something. THAT'S what I'll remember.

  • Comment number 55.

    David - I feel I should point out that the figure of 108.79% to which you correctly draw attention excludes overheads and is purely salaries and related payroll taxes - have another look at it. So the situation is actually worse than you have indicated in your narrative - all the overheads go on top of that.

  • Comment number 56.

    Q: What do UK football finance regulators have in common with US financial regulators?
    A: Quite a lot, apparently.

    Are the bookies giving odds on who'll be the next to go?

  • Comment number 57.

    Would be nice if some of the wealthier ex-players and agents could wave what they own and return the money to local businesses.

    Agents in particular, must have been aware the club was overspending.

  • Comment number 58.

    Considering that by law, you must have emergency services (i.e. St johns Ambulance) at any major sporting event. St John's should refuse to ever attend another Portsmouth game (including the FA cup) until they are repaid all that they are owed.

    As this would mean Portsmouth would never be able to play another game they would quickly move up the ladder to getting 100% of there money back rather then the 23% being offered.

    If St Johns took a stand and said they wouldnt attend any Portsmouth game until every small creditor (say any business worth under ~£1 million) was repaid in full. This might change the ridiculous rules of playing players and agents first.

    But then again maybe im dreaming...

  • Comment number 59.


    And that's exactly the sort of attitude that really lays at the heart of all this. What incentive is can there possibly be for clubs to be sensible and prudent with spending when we clubs like Portsmouth and their fans saying "at least we won something and I don't care how we did it"?

    Essentially, and it has been said before here, Portsmouth won by cheating. Taking on debt is not a bad thing as long as it can be paid back, but in the case of Portsmouth this was never going to be possible and I think the board knew that for quite some time, and yet they carried on spending. So while the majority of other clubs, both Premier League and non-PL alike, toiled away on limited budgets but whilst trying to live within their means, Portsmouth bulldozed their way to a trophy win with a stunning disregard for all financial, business and I would say moral decency.

    The media always sycophantically portrays the fans as angelicly innocent whenever something goes wrong with a football club, but it is attitudes like these that proves otherwise.

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    Breaking story in Australia that has parallels to this one! Melbourne Storm have been found guilty by the NRL of breaching the salary cap (effectively paying players on the side and off the accounts). The overspend is about 1M sterling over 5 years. Pompey are 120M Sterling in debt by comparison. The Storms punishment? Stripped of two Premierships, all points won this season to date - and for the rest of the season and a massive fine. Now please could we see something similar for Pompey - particularly stripping them of their FA Cup win and excluding them from this years final, as well as relegating them to League 1.

  • Comment number 62.

    Looks like Spurs have shown up even the Portsmouth Administrator to not have a clue....

    The Club (Tottenham Hotspur )can confirm that it has invoiced Portsmouth Football Club for £1m in respect of the failure of the joint transfer of Younes Kaboul and Asmir Begovic to Spurs and in accordance with the Agreement of 30 January 2010 between both Clubs.

    The statement contained within the Administrator's report released yesterday (21/04/10) that it relates to a sell-on fee for Begovic, is inaccurate, as is the statement that the player was registered with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

    Our original agreement with Portsmouth was for the purchase of two players for a combined, agreed price. The transfer of Younes Kaboul was completed and Portsmouth pressed for an immediate payment in order to alleviate their cashflow situation. We were assured that the transfer of Begovic would be completed before the end of the transfer window. In order to assist Portsmouth with their financial difficulties we paid Portsmouth an agreed sum of money, whilst at the same time concluding an agreement that, should Begovic be sold or loaned to any Club other than ourselves, we would be repaid the sum of £1m. Portsmouth were keen to openly and freely agree to this surety.

    Our intention had been to assist a fellow Club in financial difficulties whilst at the same time protecting our commercial position. We shall continue to do the latter and trust that this statement clarifies the position.

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    Yes it seems that administration and/or bad debt has follwed Rednapp around like Marleys ghost (Bournemouth, Southampton, West Ham and Pomepy) but he will NEVER be given free reign at Spurs because they have a more than competant chairman in Daniel Levey.
    How can you blame the PL for letting it happen Thats like a smoker with cnacer blaming the person who sold them the fags!!
    Pompey deserve everything they get, how

  • Comment number 65.

    I hope one of the players pays the Saint Johns Ambulance bill - £2000 to a Premier league footballer is like me buying a book of raffle tickets for the School Fete!

  • Comment number 66.

    I don't see why people are blaming Murdoch and Sky, no one put a gun at Storrie's head and forced him to write the cheques for the signings and wages. You can't blame Redknapp much either, yes he is a chequebook manager but if Storrie and Gaidamchuk were telling him "yes we can afford to get Crouch, Defoe etc." then who was he to complain?!

    The responsibility for this lies with Pompey's board and Storrie and with the Premier League who allowed this mess to happen.

  • Comment number 67.

    #58 lglethal:

    As a volunteer for St Johns Ambulance it is frustrating to hear that the organisation will receive very little for the services we/they offer at games. I volunteer down in S Wales and the same thing is happening at Cardiff City (or at least it was up until a few weeks ago) where St Johns had not been paid for several months.

    Luckily for the club(s) and fans they still turn up every week and will take whatever payment they recieve gratefully. It is not on and it is not right but it something that very little can be done about until the rules change.

    Through fundrasing (including at the games ironically - drunk football fans are very generous!) we make up a little of the shortfall and I think it is testament to the attitude of the 'small people' that through the worst of times a good job is done.

    It is actually the school I feel most sorry for. £40,000 is a lot of money which I have no doubt could be spent to better use than a weeks wages for 'Zinedine Dindane'.

  • Comment number 68.

    Post #1 Oh_when_the_beans wrote:
    I personally feel this club should be put out of its misery, the fans stood by and watched this going on.


    If Tesco suddenly went into Admin, and had massive financial troubles, would I be blamed for that too, after all, I AM a customer of theirs???

    If my club is buying decent players, I don't say "I must check the books and balance sheets to see if we can afford this", I just enjoy the football.

    When will so-called football fans stop blaming the us fans for something we cannot possibly control? No-one except those involved know the details. We still don't know the full truth, even now.

    I can only hope this never happens to any other club. I can also hope we come through this a better club.

  • Comment number 69.

    Even though Pompey have got a fantastic set of fans who people genuinely feel sorry for I think most would agree the club itself deserves everything coming their way. There's a huge pressure to be successful which drives chairman and money men to sign the cheques first and think of the consequences later but that pressure will never go away so how does the situation change?

    Imagine how many players Utd would need to sell to write off 700m debt! The PL isn't a level playing field so until regulations are brought in such as wage/transfer caps; points penalties for club's spending beyond their means; closer monitoring of debt etc things will stay a mess

    And sadly the men in suits at the top of the game (Blatter, Platini, UEFA, FIFA, The FA) largely consists of spineless, gutless morons who can't take a stance

  • Comment number 70.

    What about 'Arry?

    He signed the players, agreed the wages etc.

    Spurs fans watch out. He'll do the same to you.

    This is the same absolute total nonsense that is carted out time and again when there is not a shred of truth in it whatsoever.

    Firstly, Spurs make a considerable amount more money compared to Portsmouth. Secondly, Spurs have a chairman who is in complete control of finances.

    It is not Redknapp's fault that Portsmouth are in trouble. If the board sanctions transfers and wages, why would he question them? It's not his responsibility to look after the finances, it's the boards.

    Thirdly, if you look at Spurs' latest accounts, they turned in a healthy £33.4 million profit before tax, which I don't see in Portsmouth's accounts. Revenue totalled £113 million, net assets increased to £62.1 million.

    Only today Spurs were ranked 11th on the Forbes' list of most valuable football clubs, valued at £289 million.

    Spurs and Portsmouth operate on completely different planets financially, making like-for-like comparisons between Spurs and Portsmouth is like comparing Tesco to your local cornershop.

  • Comment number 71.


    I agree. No one forced the management of Portsmouth FC to overspend, that much is true but people seem to hold these people to extremely high standards of competency and morality. People can be falliable, make mistakes and they can be weak. Those at Sky TV are the ones in the position of power and strength.

    Admittedly, what's happened at Portsmouth approaches the indefensible but I don't think we should be so quick to condemn everyone who mis-manages a football club.

  • Comment number 72.

    What really went wrong with Pompei? Many questions I have but not any answers i get

  • Comment number 73.

    Portsmouth for the FA Cup!!

  • Comment number 74.

    Go Pompey!!

  • Comment number 75.

    Why blame the Premiership for Portsmouth's demise. They, and Mr H. Redknap are to blame fully

  • Comment number 76.

    Many people will blame Peter Storrie, the club's former chief executive, who was paid £1.2m a year plus bonuses to oversee this car crash of a football club.
    I repeat, blame Harry Redknap for his dodgy transfer policies

  • Comment number 77.

    Can't believe some of you are blaming Redknapp for this... Do you understand that managers (barring maybe Arsene) are football men, not businessmen/economists? In pretty much all football clubs the principle is that the manager is responsible for footballing matter and the board are responsible for financial matters. It's the board's job to ensure the club don't splash the cash around more than they can afford, and that the wage bill stays reasonable. Not the manager's. I really think Storrie should be questioned about how he allowed Pompey's finances to get to that point and didn't do anything until it was too late. The man should never be allowed to have any kind of a job in football again.

    By the way, can someone tell me, who or what exactly is the one that orders players/agents being paid before the others??

  • Comment number 78.

    Just over £59M was spent on salaries, you have to assume most of it was paid to the players. That is a figure I find disgusting, shocking and immoral, and not because they are (or were) Portsmouth players, my reaction does not stem from club prejudice.

    The really staggering aspect of this is that Portsmouth are not alone in paying that kind of money to players, and I don't just mean at the sponsored clubs, like Chelsea and Man City (one of which is my club). David Sullivan intimated that West Ham's player pay roll is eye watering and you can be sure a lot of Premier League clubs are in a similar position as regards paying £40m / £50M / £60M a year to their players.

    I understand all the difficulties of salary caps, and the nature of a free market economy but the bottom line is that player wages are the root cause of the financial cancer that blights football. Portsmouth may be the latest victims but they ultimately just a symptom of a disease that infests the game at the highest level.

    I feel sorry for the fans, for all fans who pay their money to support the lifestyles of a handful of people for whom loyalty is a currency.

  • Comment number 79.

    #41 You are incorrect that employees are preferential creditors as they are not in any other business if that company goes into administration as I have been through that myself. They are only preferential because they are football related and nothing else.

    #45 You said Chelsea aren't in the same boat because they have greater income than Portsmouth. You are true with that statement but Chelsea have lived beyond their means for years. They haven't made a profit in years and they have only survived because on RA money and that he wipes off the debt the club has. Chelsea have 5 years to make a profit and keep doing so or they won't be able to play in Europe when the financial rules come into play for clubs.

    #61 I agree with you but I think it should be taken further. If any club goes into administration then I think they should have to start at the bottom of all leagues and have to start from scratch. This would mean that all clubs would have to make some sort of profit most of the time.

    Storrie has to be the most to blame and surely they were trading insolvently in which the administrators should take legal action if it can be proved. 'arry is partly to blame as well.

    I do not understand how or why the government have allowed the FA and PL to be allowed to claim 100% of what's owed to them as "football related creditors" when every other business is not allowed.

    Maybe the St Johns Ambulance should threaten to boycott every football match until the FA or PL makes sure that all debts to them are paid in full.

    I can't see how a football agents debt is preferred as they do nothing but arrange a transfer. If a footballer uses an agent then surely it is down to them to pay the agent and not the club.

    Lets hope fans will also go easy on their own clubs that they support. I know everyone wants their club to win a trophy or get promoted but that is not possible. Maybe they will stop calling for managers to be sacked or to buy players that they can't afford.

    Luckily I do support a side like that. I know we have gone 5 years without a trophy but Arsenal always make a profit and that profit is put back in to develop the team as no dividends have been paid to shareholders.

  • Comment number 80.

    28. At 9:36pm on 21 Apr 2010, Forrad83 wrote:



    Wigan would be bust if it weren't for Whelan bankrolling them.

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    Time to learn another lesson from the Americans about how to run sport. Owners should be veted before they buy clubs to see if they can really pay their bills.

  • Comment number 83.

    Good post #67

    Just think there are some of the players getting paid silly money to sit on the bench each week but people like the St Johns Ambulance and local schools won't get the money owed to them. It really is a sad state of affairs and the more I hear about Portsmouth the more depressed I get by the whole situation. It's always the little guys that need the money more than most who miss out. I'm a Spurs fan and see where the club is coming from if what they say is true and that they paid £1m for a player they never signed. However I don't see why all that money should be recouped when you've got far more needy groups who are going to see little money back. The same can be said for Campbell and his claim, how can it be justified that these people get their money first and in full yet everyone else has to settle for whatever they can get?

    Sorry but more needs to be done to stop clubs getting into this position as it's always the little guys who lose the most. The club continues to operate, the players continue to get paid and the footballing creditors all get what's owed to them. However everyone else has to settle for a fraction of what they're owed because of this daft rule about footballing debts being settled first.

  • Comment number 84.

    Spurs and Portsmouth operate on completely different planets financially, making like-for-like comparisons between Spurs and Portsmouth is like comparing Tesco to your local cornershop.
    Well, if the Manager of Tesco and the cornershop had the same name then the comparison is valid because if he's capable of running down the cornershop, he can do the same with Tesco

  • Comment number 85.

    61. Kingslandroar - the difference is that Portsmouth (as far as anyone is aware) have not broke any rules save that of keeping themselves from going into administration (for which they got the nine-points penalty).
    A recent comment by Dave Whelan suggested that PL clubs should be restricted in their borrowing to a percentage (e.g. 25%) of their turnover. This sort of restriction wouldn't punish the bigger clubs for having a huge fanbase, but would force everyone to keep things a little saner.

  • Comment number 86.

    The above scenario is precisely why I and many others have never agreed with the concept of the Premier League which was invented and set up by the greedy few who wanted it all 30 years ago when they first dreamed it up. They took the sport out of soccer and made it a case of who has the biggest wallet. It is now coming to the inevitable end with virtually every club being debt ridden to the tune of almost billions and why foreign businessmen come here to launder their spare cash. Soccer now stinks from start to finish and I for one am very pleased and cannot wait for it all to do a "South Sea Bubble". This game used to be called "the working man's theatre" as it was all the working man could afford as entertainment after completing a five and a half day week in heavy industry and it is about time that it got back to it's roots.

  • Comment number 87.

    Is it any wonder that wages account for such a high percentage of a clubs turnover (catastrophically in the case of Portsmouth) when players are paid what they are being paid? I might be wrong, but I believe it's an FA rule that for a club to be able to enter administration, they have to make paying their players a priority. As this article states, this is clearly at the expense of local businesses and service providers who, I'm quite sure, do not have a 'money cushion' which the players themselves do. I agree with #59, Portsmouth quite simply cheated. They spent money on footballing talent that was beyond their means, reaped quick rewards and then found that they could not actually afford to keep the club running in that way. I feel sorry for football fans in general, that the hard-earned cash that they are ploughing, week-in week-out, into their clubs is being handled in such an irresponsible manner.

    I honestly believe there should be a wage-cap in the football leagues. I don't think top players would need to worry about this, because they make considerable sums from endorsements, outwith the club itself. Maybe it would also contribute towards less money being spent on agents (there are sums being reported which I can't believe) as there is less negotiating to do over wages. I'm not sure this would necessarily make for a more competitive league (as no doubt the 'big' teams will still attract the 'big' names), but surely a wage cap would go some way towards ensuring that clubs don't have a wage bill that exceeds a certain amount of their turnover, leading them down the road of administration/bankruptcy. Can I see a wage-cap happening in the next 10, 20 years... not a chance!

  • Comment number 88.

    Southend, Cardiff, Hull, Portsmouth are all facing difficulties financially. Other clubs have struggled in the past and some now do not exist due to financial pressure.

    How can you say this is not the fault of the game at large? Every club has debt that, whilst it can service on a monthly basis, cannot pay back if a demand was made for it.

    We can all whinge and moan about the banks and the mess they got into but as far as I can see it the taxman isn't going to get paid here and even organisations like St Johns Ambulance aren't being paid!

    The Premier League has become a product that, like it or not, cannot compete with Serie A or La Liga and the more it tries the more clubs are being forced into paying wages they cannot afford

  • Comment number 89.

    Pompey fans really have to grow up and stop blaming everything and everyone around them. The wrtiting has been on the wall for so long over this but they never questioned a single part of it... Certainly, no-one was talking about 'Evil' Harry Redknapp when they won the cup under him - I do believe that it was Harry Redknapps blue & white army at the time.

    You only have to look at the current 'green & gold' campaign at Manchester United to see how fans are not only aware of their clubs financial position but are also actively campaigning to do something about it. That is being a responsible fan... not eating all the food in the lifeboat in one day then complaining to the skipper that there isn't any more for the next.

  • Comment number 90.

    # 65

    "I hope one of the players pays the Saint Johns Ambulance bill - £2000 to a Premier league footballer is like me buying a book of raffle tickets for the School Fete!"

    Amen to that. David James seems to be a nice sort of bloke, and has a reputation for being generous...

    ps to all: It's St John Ambulance (no stop, plural or apostrophe).

  • Comment number 91.

    Pompeys situation has shades of both my club, NUFC, and Leeds. There is only one real issue here: Portsmouth are a small club and tried to mix it with the big boys. My club, NUFC, are a bigger club, as are Leeds, and we also paid for trying to mix it with the Man Uniteds of this world.
    What determines how big a club is? Revenue.
    It isn't trophies, it isn't history, it's not fanbase (which all to some extent influence revenue) and it's not how many Roubles your owner has. Football hasn't been a sport for years now, it's a business, so revenue is king. If you want to have 'ambition' as one blogger put it, find ways to increase your revenue, whether that is through a bigger stadium, increasing fanbase or buying low selling high a la Wenger. Fans use the word ambition like it is an excuse for not liking the hand their club was dealt.
    If you increase revenue, you can increase budget for player purchases and wages. Don't spend every penny you have. It's finance for beginners, yet some on here are looking for a scapegoat.
    Like what happened at St James and Elland Road, it is everyones fault, fans included, because everyone knew what was going on. All fans outside of Pompey knew they were living on HP, so how can pompeys wonderful fans claim not to know. Where was the protests when the likes of Diarra, Defoe and Crouch were PURCHASED? No-one said a peep, because you were too busy pretending you could compete with trophy winning clubs.
    The big boys have bigger budgets so win most of the trophies. Boo hoo. Try and look beyond your club at the real tragedies that go on in the third world and get over yourselves. As a Toon fan I've found this season the most enjoyable in years because its been real - no kidding ourselves that we can challenge Man U on money we don't have...just a team of grafters trying their best every week.
    Football was originally a game for the working man. Now it's a game that can apparently only be enjoyed if your team can afford the best players. All fans, and I include Man U and Liverpool who are in very precarious financial positions too, need to have a hard look at what the leagues best manager, Wenger, has done at Arsenal. Net spend of Arsenal on transfers in the PL is approximately £2M a season, and they filled Highbury out every week and pack the Emirates out too. He may have won nothing for years now, but his team play great football and compete at a level that belies their budget. They are a model for how all clubs should be run, big and small alike.
    Only problem is, success that way takes years, and most fans would rather put their heads in the sand and try and spend their way to success, then claim ignorance when it all goes Pete Tong.
    We're all to blame, my club as much as any.

  • Comment number 92.

    70. At 10:59am on 22 Apr 2010, joe strummer wrote:

    Spurs and Portsmouth operate on completely different planets financially, making like-for-like comparisons between Spurs and Portsmouth is like comparing Tesco to your local cornershop.


    But Tesco is my local corner shop? Now I'm all confused again...

  • Comment number 93.

    84. At 11:26am on 22 Apr 2010, The Monk Reloaded wrote:

    Spurs and Portsmouth operate on completely different planets financially, making like-for-like comparisons between Spurs and Portsmouth is like comparing Tesco to your local cornershop.
    Well, if the Manager of Tesco and the cornershop had the same name then the comparison is valid because if he's capable of running down the cornershop, he can do the same with Tesco

    The Monk Reloaded, are you going to actually back up your claim that Redknapp ruined Portsmouth with any factual details, or are you going to just keep letting your personal prejudices get in the way and make irrelevant and ignorant points? Nice avoidance of the fact that Spurs are the 11th most valuable club in the world as well.

    How hard is it to understand that Portsmouth's board are in charge of wages and transfer fees, not Redknapp? It's their fault they overspent, nobody else's.

    Spurs' chairman is an astute businessman, as many of the club's transfer deals suggest, for example, buying Berbatov for £13m and selling him for £31m.

    Also, he ensures that the club sticks to a stringent wage structure so we don't end up the proverbial creek without a paddle like Portsmouth. For example, we didn't sign van Nistelrooy in the January transfer window because his wages were too high and we didn't sign David James - against Redknapp's wishes - because he's old and his wages were too high. To put it simply, Levy is in charge of Tottenham's finances not Redknapp.

    Maybe if Portsmouth's board had show the same sense the club would not be in its present condition. It's not like Football Manager 2010 where the manager is solely responsible for everything.

  • Comment number 94.

    The whole issue of who gets paid first and who gets paid what when a football club goes into administration is disgraceful.

    When my local pro club Leicester City did so in 2002 with £30m debts the settlement agreed was 10p in the pound. This massively delayed and massively reduced payment of debts crippled so many local businesses.

    From that day I've never watched a Leicester game and I never will do in the future.

    All of these clubs spout the same old nonsense about being "community clubs" but when it comes down to it they have zero respect for the communities in which they exist.

    I now support my local semi-pro team - Coalville Town - at £5 per match, enjoy good banter in the non-segregated grounds and have a drink with the players after the match.

  • Comment number 95.

    So Spurs took Portsmouth's manager. They took their best players for a song - Defoe, Kranjcar, Crouch & Kaboul. Yet still they want another million pounds froma club that is insolvent.

    I am so glad that Portsmouth stuffed this horrible club on the field when it mattered - the FA Cup Semi.

  • Comment number 96.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 97.

    #88: "The Premier League has become a product that, like it or not, cannot compete with Serie A or La Liga and the more it tries the more clubs are being forced into paying wages they cannot afford"

    This problem isn't just about the Premier League and to try and pretend it is is wrong.

    Serie A has suffered massively with debt and over-inflated salaries. Fiorentina went bankrupt and had to start at the bottom of Italian football; Lazio and Parma very very nearly went the same way.

    And finances aren't much better in La Liga. Real Madrid's debts stood at around £400m before Madrid city council bought land from them for £400m. It's estimated that Real's debts are steadily climbing again; someone has to pay for the Galacticos. Valencia are practically bankrupt too.

    The simple way of dealing with this mess is to make clubs pay for things in full, in advance. If they buy a player they pay cash; if they buy the services of St John Ambulance they pay cash. Any club that doesn't repay 100% of what is owed to ALL CREDITORS following debt problems should be relegated to League Two and start with a 25-point penalty and lose all TV money rights.

    If clubs had to pay cash for players, rather than staggering transfer fees over five years, there wouldn't be this mess. Incompetent chairmen couldn't spend money they didn't have. It would solve so many problems.

    My club, Bradford, has been in administration twice due to the incompetence of previous chairmen. Both times local businesses, including the fanzine City Gent, lost thousands. It isn't fair and we should have been punished far more than we were- although now we're stuck in League Two with no money because of the administrations.

  • Comment number 98.

    Spurs fans watch out. He'll do the same to you.


    I doubt it. We have a very strict wage structure in place as Harry found out when Levy stopped him signing Van Nistlerooy

  • Comment number 99.

    85. Bloody Marvellous. Not broken any rules? Have you seen the Companies Act ever? Shall we start with 'trading whilst insolvent'? then we can move on to the fiduciary duties of directors and 'fit and proper' from there. Pompey is a cheating basket case and deserves the same level of punishment as the Storm. I would be embarrassed to turn up at Wembley in their shoes.

  • Comment number 100.

    Can David or anyone tell us where the revenue that will be gained from the FA Cup final fit into this? Has it been included in the 23p in the £ offer to creditors (which would seem to be its right and proper use) or does it conveniently go to the new owner when the club comes out of administration? Should we be suspicious about the timing of the proceedings?


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