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					       News / Comment / Money / Features / Sport                                                                                                                                                       theboar.org




Pompey chimes no more
Joe Rutter looks at the shambles on the South Coast as Portsmouth enter administration
W          hat on earth is going on at
           Portsmouth? It’s a question
           that will have been bug-
ging football fans across the country
recently. How is it that a club can go
                                            their current situation even more be-
                                            musing.
                                               With Harry Redknapp moving to
                                            Tottenham and top players leaving,
                                            things inevitably got worse on the
                                                                                      tween success on the pitch and finan-
                                                                                      cial capitulation. Portsmouth aren’t
                                                                                      the only ones. English football is be-
                                                                                      ing blighted by greedy owners who
                                                                                      are happy to spend money that the
from being FA Cup winners and in            pitch. Tony Adams understandably          club doesn’t have in order to make a
the UEFA Cup to the brink of extinc-        failed to continue Redknapp’s overa-      quick profit.
tion in the space of two years?             chievements whilst Paul Hart and             The FA’s ‘fit and proper person’
   Their financial problems are huge        Avram Grant have done their best          test for buyers would probably per-
and there seem to be fresh revelations      under the circumstances.                  mit Osama Bin Laden. It has been
daily. As I write this, the club are said      The simple reason why they are         revealed recently that Premiership
to be around £60m in debt, need             in this situation is that the club has    clubs owe more money than all the
to pay HM Revenue and Customs               spent money which it didn’t have          other top European clubs put to-
£12.1m by Monday and are lumbered           (whilst avoiding tax) under a series      gether.
with a £3m wage and tax bill.               of bad owners since Milan Mandaric           Manchester United, the biggest
   The staff have been paid late in         stepped down as chairman in Sep-          football team in the world, have debts
four of the last five months. The Pre-      tember 2006 and sold all his shares       of over £700m, which has led a group
mier League are withholding TV and          to Alexandre Gaydamak.                    of supporters to launch a buyout
transfer money until Portsmouth set-           During his three year reign, Gayda-    campaign against the Glazer family.
tle debts with other clubs and have         mak spent big money on players such          Similarly, Liverpool owners Tom
rejected the club’s desperate request       as John Utaka and Pedro Mendes,           Hicks and George Gillett are said
for permission to sell players out-         whilst also setting out his plans for a   to owe around £273m to the Royal
side the transfer window. And just to       new stadium, something which now          Bank of Scotland. These big clubs are
make matters worse, Sol Campbell            seems a distant hope. Gaydamak,           walking a dangerous tightrope by op-
is suing his former club for £1.7m in       now the club’s biggest creditor, sold     erating in such enormous debt.
unpaid bonuses and Peter Storrie,           the club at a profit in the summer of        Of course it’s unthinkable that a
the chief executive and one of the few      2009 to Sulaiman Al Fahim.                club like Manchester United would
people who has been at Fratton Park            But after just three months, dur-      go bust but Portsmouth may not be
through all of this, is facing charges of   ing which he had to prevent the club      the last ones. The lower leagues are
tax evasion.                                from going into administration, Al        packed with clubs who have achieved
   On Friday morning, the club en-          Fahim sold 90 percent of his stake        success on the pitch, spent big in
tered administration, becoming the          to Saudi businessman Ali Al Faraj.        order to be able to compete at the
first ever Premiership team to do so.       Al Faraj promised investment, and         higher level and then descended
As a result of the following ten-point      things looked up for Pompey fans          into financial and football decline –
deduction, relegation from the Pre-         but the massive debts remained and        Leeds, Forest, Bradford and Sheffield
mier League is almost a certainty.          Al Faraj had to get a loan just to pay    Wednesday are just some examples.
   So what has happened to Port-            the players. There seems to be a             My own team, Southend Unit-
smouth in the twenty-one months             problem of misinformation and lack        ed, faced a winding-up order from
since they lifted the FA Cup? From          of communication in the whole af-         HMRC in November having got into
the squad that beat West Brom in            fair - Al Faraj never attended a single   trouble financing a new stadium and
the final, only four of the players re-     Portsmouth match.                         Cardiff City are in a similar situation.
main there. Numerous good players              Then earlier this month, Hong             For the last decade the Premier
have had to be sold and replaced with       Kong businessman Balram Chainrai          League has been riding on a wave of
largely worse, unknown players from         became the latest mystery owner at        spiralling transfer fees, wages, televi-
abroad or from the lower leagues.           Fratton Park and his failure to find      sion money and ticket prices. As the
The club have acquired almost £80m          a buyer for the club has resulted in      ‘credit crunch’ begins to alleviate, let’s
since May 2008 through the sales of         their administration.                     hope that the Portsmouth saga might
star players such as Jermaine Defoe            The whole shambolic story just         teach the people in power to be more         » John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood (his legal name)
and Lassana Diarra, which makes             goes to show the fine, brittle line be-   prudent.                                     will have less to shout about now the club has been docked points


Handballers make National Quarter-finals while Warwick Trampolining fly high at BUCS
T       his weekend saw Warwick
        Handball go through to the
        quarterfinals in the British
Student Championships, to be de-
feated in a penalty shoot-out by first-
                                               Highly motivated, Warwick
                                            showed one of their best team efforts
                                            this season, initially keeping Oxford
                                            in check and then proceeding to take
                                            the lead. With two goals up and one
                                                                                      lent efforts by both goal keepers the
                                                                                      score remained low. Warwick did not
                                                                                      manage to hold on to an 4-2 advan-
                                                                                      tage. After a hectic last minute with
                                                                                      chances to clinch the match on both
                                                                                                                                   for the qualifying rounds. There are
                                                                                                                                   five levels, BUCS 5 being the easi-
                                                                                                                                   est, novice category and BUCS 1 be-
                                                                                                                                   ing the elites. The top 20% of each
                                                                                                                                   category in the regions qualify to
                                                                                                                                                                             20th out of 66 in the women’s compe-
                                                                                                                                                                             tition and Robert Winter 6th out of
                                                                                                                                                                             18 in the men’s, both scoring higher
                                                                                                                                                                             than they have ever done in a compe-
                                                                                                                                                                             tition before, but unfortunately still
division side Nottingham.                   suspension for Oxford two minutes         sides a 4-4 draw was the final result,       go through to the finals, to compete      just missed out on qualification. The
   Saturday was dedicated to the            before the end it seemed that vic-        leading to the penalty shoot-out.            against the whole country. Expect for     outstanding results of the day were
group stages where Warwick met fel-         tory was secure. However Oxford              Despite losing it, Warwick held           the novices who don’t have a national     Kieran Bhardwaj, in intermediate
low second-division teams from Ox-          managed to come back to 7-8 and re-       their heads high after two days of           competition and the elites who auto-      men, and Sade Ottley, in advanced
ford, Loughborough and Liverpool            gained possession 30 seconds before       mostly very good handball.                   matically qualify to go through to the    women, who both not only managed
John Moores as well as Strathclyde,         the end of the match. In what turned         The two-day event, hosted this            finals. Each competitor has to com-       to qualify for the finals but did so by
current Scottish champion.The lat-          out to be the last attack of the match    year in Manchester, is the annual            plete 2 routines of 10 moves; the first   coming 1st in their categories. They
ter started off by showing Warwick’s        Oxford obtained and converted a 7m        meeting of British university teams.         one is a set routine that everyone has    will go through to the finals in Shef-
team, decimated by several injuries,        penalty throw, ending the match in        Since there is no BUSA league for            to do, but the second you can make        field in one month’s time. They will
its limits, winning 9-4. A relatively       an 8-8 draw.                              handball, university teams take part         up yourself. They are judged on their     be joined there by Deirdre Lynch and
hectic match with much physical                After an expected victory over         in the regular league of the English         precision, and also in the higher lev-    Anthony Ottley who are both com-
contact and spirited playing on both        Liverpool Warwick came third be-          and Scottish Handball Associations           els the difficulty of the moves are       peting in the elite competition.
sides ended with a 11-8 victory for         hind Oxford on goal difference.           respectively.                                taken into account.                           At Warwick Trampolining Club
Warwick over second-division team           This meant that the opposition in                            Janosch Ortmann              We had 5 students competing in         we are hosting our very own compe-
Loughborough.                               the quarter final on Sunday morn-                                                      the novice category who unfortu-          tition this weekend, 27th and 28th
   Strathclyde having won all of their      ing would be the winner of an other       Last weekend Warwick Trampolin-              nately couldn’t qualify, although they    February. 12 other universities from
matches it became clear that the sec-       group, Nottingham.                        ing Club went to Nottingham for              all did extremely well. Gemma Har-        all over the country will be coming to
ond and third place would be fought            With Nottingham the nominal            this year’s BUCS Midland qualifiers.         ris came 5th, Lisa Campbell 7th, Lisa     compete and it promises to be an ex-
out between Warwick and Oxford.             favourite, Warwick managed to pull        BUCS are the official inter-university       Stallwood 12th, Alison Mason 18th         citing couple of days of trampolining.
Warwick were keen to improve on             off another fighting performance,         trampolining competitions and the            and Korin Nandhra 27th; this was          So if you have nothing better to do,
last year’s meeting where Oxford won        keeping most of the match in level        ones that every club wants to win.           not easy as there were 81 competitors     pop into the Desso Hall at the back
easily. This year the match turned out      or in their favour. Since both sides      The country is split into 3 regions,         in this category! In the intermedi-       of the sports centre.
to be a different affair.                   defended well and due to some excel-      the North, Midlands and the South,           ate category, Sophie Featherby came                           Sophie Featherby

				
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posted:1/29/2011
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