The Beginning Of The End?
By Jim Bonner
Updated Thursday, 28th January 2010
Today's events suggest so.At lunch time today I went to Pompey's official website to see if I could get ticket information for the Southampton game, only to be greeted with the message "Website Unavailable" on a blank white screen.
I thought "Fine, it must be a server error or there may be a traffic overload as everyone wants the Scummers ticket info." and popped into the canteen to have my lunch, returned half an hour later and tried to log on again, just to see the same message.
Curious, I went on the "Pompey Pages" to discover that Portsmouth FC's official website has been taken down by Juicy, the company that runs the website because the club had failed to keep up payments that were agreed in a payment plan.
I simply laughed at that news, because if I didn't laugh then I was going to cry. My disbelieving eyes continued to read that the reason the electronic display and the boards around the Fratton Park pitch weren't working on Tuesday night was because Pompey couldn't afford the bill.
The website was restored after over three hours of downtime but I came home from work to e-mails from fellow members of the Pompey Virtual Alliance that virtually confirmed that the staff won't be paid on time yet again and that the club have pulled funding for a youth development centre on Guernsey because the club can't afford the £2,000 bill for the venues.
But the straw that broke the camel's back was the news that Kaboul is set to be sold to Spurs along with Asmir Begovic in a deal that has been negotiated behind the backs of Peter Storrie and Avram Grant.
I can accept Kaboul leaving if that means the club stays alive but to sell our very talented young goalkeeper at what seems to be a knock down price is an outrage.
I listened to Storrie fail to give a straight answer on The Quay tonight but at least he has shown his face unlike Mark Jacob or the owner(s) (whoever they may be.)
I had to laugh at his boast that he considers himself to be a very good negotiator and would have got a "better deal" for Kaboul than the "representative of the owners" (that would be Daniel Azougy then.) I don't consider offering John Utaka a reported 80 grand a week and offering Sol Campbell "image rights" to be evidence of good negotiation.
Storrie also revealed that we still owe £3 million to Tottenham for Kaboul, a fee that should be erased when they sign him back and talks are ongoing to sell Begovic to Spurs.
On the subject of the staff not getting paid he mentioned that the club did have the funds to pay them but couldn't because of something to do with the HMRC's winding-up order currently on the club, which didn't allow funds to be transferred from accounts or something of that ilk anyway. It sounded a bit "waffly" to me.
When Storrie wasn't talking about transfers or dodging questions about finance, he liked to re-iterate his "love for the club" and praised himself for bringing Begovic to the club. He also expressed his anger at the fans who labelled him a liar at last Saturday's protest.
This was after he practically said his position was untenable, but he (nor Avram) were going to quit.
However, by far the biggest statement from Storrie came at the end of the hour when he said that even with the player sales, Pompey would need to find money from somewhere in the next two months, whether it be from investors, a new owner or a bank loan.
If not, then Pompey fans will no longer have a club to support.
Storrie's revelation along with the events today have confirmed that this has been a dark day and may have signalled the beginning of the end of Portsmouth Football Club.