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Thursday, 18 February 2010

Pompey On Death Row....

Portsmouth F.C today played their final hand in a increasingly unlikely struggle to survive both as a business and a football club. Fratton Park chiefs have asked Premier League and FIFA officials to allow them special dispensation to sell their players outside the transfer window in an attempt to raise the £11.5M Mr Tax is demanding immediately.

Now it would be very easy as a Leeds United supporter to get very upset about this should the respective governing bodies offer a helping hand and allow such actions to take place. For less than 3 years ago my beloved club found itself in a similar precarious position and the 'football family' stuck the boot in by voting for an official punishment to stand. Instead though I'm going to look at the practicality of what the South coast club are asking...

The major flaw with their request is that for them to sell players, another team has to buy them. So in affect they're asking for the transfer window to be re-opened indefinitely until they've sold enough players, which if you ask me is absurd and should be totally out of the question. Last month, clubs across Europe spent their money on players they could afford (or not in some cases) from what was available at the time and with such a small 'window' of opportunity to purchase, naturally prices across the market are escalated. Its a strange system but one that everybody knows where they stand and know that they can spend all their available cash without fear of missing out on a bargain that could materialise soon after, until now it seems...

To put it into perspective, imagine we spent all our available on cash on Max Gradel (Bates haters can comment at the bottom) and were confident, that in him we had the best player who was available to us at that time, we had no transfer fund left but we wouldn't need any until the Summer. Then FIFA announce they're re-opening the transfer window for Portsmouth and Norwich snap up David James and Jon Utaka (Hypothetical of course but you get the point). The level playing field and nature of competition has gone.

I think its very unlikely that Pompey's plea will be granted and 2010 may well see the first Premiership club go out of business. Its amazing, given the revenue available to the 20 elite clubs that any of them could have such problems, maybe now they'll have some sympathy for the likes of Luton, Rotherham and Chester who continually scrape an existence form minimal income, but I doubt it... Making it even more unlikely that the Premiership fortune might one day filter its way down to the lower leagues.

This week Gerald Krasner (remember him) predicted that other Premiership clubs will follow Portsmouth into oblivion as early as this Summer! I'd take his predictions and financial acumen with a pinch of salt but watch this space.

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