Portsmouth FC – Administrative Error?

by Callum Lawton

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Portsmouth Football Club have been hit with yet another punch as the threat of administration looms – with manager Michael Appleton stating he is ‘ready for a points deduction.’

But is a points deduction really fair on Portsmouth Football Club?  
Pompey’s recent dogged luck has been created by individuals who were inadequate to run the football club and a controversial system in which they were appointed: the so called Fit and Proper Person’s Test.

But surely the Fit and Proper Person’s Test should have ensured that they were suitable to run the club? It seems it has not.

Over the past five years, Portsmouth has had five owners, and during those years, has spiralled into more than £100m worth of debt. The club’s latest owner, Vladimir Antonov has been arrested in an inquiry into asset stripping, plunging Portsmouth into further financial trouble.

It seems that the club and fans are suffering from the alleged criminality that is separate to football business but yet still somehow affecting the club’s current state.

The latest group of people suffering at the centre of this fiasco are in fact the employees of the club; from the cleaners to the players. Frozen payments and redundancies have tainted Portsmouth’s reputation and has completely demoralised the fans.

This is in addition to the smaller local businesses who have lost money and were let down by previous agreements referring to the services they provided the club with.

The cry from Portsmouth supporters for a new owner is stronger than ever: one who has his or her heart set in the right place and can scrape the club off the bottom of the barrel and revive it.

So the question that should be asked is: Is it fair that this crisis is hitting the little groups, while the previous owners who caused this mess can slip away scot free?

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  • holsten

    Portsmouth are in this mess again because they have delusions of grandeur, they cheated there was to the premier league and FA cup last time and are trying to do it again on the back of the text payer .
    They still have not started to pay the CVA of from last time , Creditors under £2500 where meant to be payed in full but no they forget all about that and sign loads of players on over £25,000 a week do remember them saying at the time ‘quality over quantity’ all well and good but with gates of 12000 its just a joke and not a funny one at that if you are one of there Creditors.

  • http://ian-englishmanabroad.blogspot.com/ Ian

    Ponits deductions are intended to deter football clubs from spending far beyond their means in order to buy success with loans and services from numerous innocent people, including in PFC’s case local schools, charities and businesses, they don’t intend to pay back.

    A club which has a fan base of around 12,000 was thus able to purchase a host of international stars, a Premier League place and two FA Cup Final appearances. I don’t recall their fans protesting about it at the time, do you?

    Even after they went into administration and wrote of tens of millions of pounds worth of their debts less than a year ago, they immediately started buying expensive players again and currently have one of the most expensive teams in the Football League. Is that fair on their opponents, who live within their means?

  • karkos fandango

    Holsten you are quite obviouslya complete idiot with no idea about Pompey, Pompey got to the premiership and as a busines was making a profit, it was not until Milan Mandaric sold the club did it start to get into debt because the club ws actaully asset stripped by a series of crooked owners. Should crawl back under what ever stone you live under probably in Sounthampton and keep quite until you can grow up and talk some sense

  • karkos fandango

    Ian all the players Pompey signed this season were loans or freebies, we were and still have a wage cap and we con only bring in players if we sell one this is a CVA requirement so please get your facts right before you post

  • Mandy

    A few facts, average gates this season 14533, not 12000, smallest squad in the whole of the football league, made up mainly of rejects, youth academy and loanees. These are the players they have signed and they are also amongst the lowest paid in the Championship, only those signed prior to the last administration may be on a higher wage but since last time there has been a pay structure in place.
    Yes they do now owe the taxman £1.6m but are owed £2.5m this season from the FA from the premier league in parachute payments which would cover this easily, this is afterall the same HMRC that has just spent £10m taking Harry Redknapp and Milan Mandaric to court!
    The FA need to take some responsibility also, They have passed the owners as fit and proper, Gaydamak – Gun runner, Al Fahim – convicted of fraud previously, Al Faraj – owed money to Chainrai so gave him the club and the latest Antonov – corrupt Lithuanian, most of these had previous dodgy dealings but still passed the FA’s “fit and Proper” test. It just makes me wonder who investigates this for the FA and maybe their actions should be called into question.
    The people who are really suffering are the phenomenal fans who support the club, the best support in the league as evidenced at their away showing at Blackpool yesterday.
    I can only assume you are Southampton followers!

  • Ade

    How interesting the first two post are on here, abosolute rubbish written by individuals who quite clearly have not a clue in respect to either the previous or current situation. A classic case of chinese whispers…..

  • Brian Wilson

    I Have supported POMPEY for 60 years I would like to know what the FA views are as the above is so true what is stated. They are the main body the running of FOOTBALL. When we see the support POMPEY had at Blackpool yesterday ,we seem to for get NO SUPPORTS NO FOOTBALL CLUBS. This Club must carry on for the people of PORTSMOUTH what ever happens. Come on the powers to be you should doing ever thing you can to see this happens.What you should also be downing is to STOP the behave of some of the Highly Paid plays in our Prem Devision as we all saw yesterday in the MU game who have also not help the lower clubs with the wages they what .Come on the F.A lets start helping the lower club or do you only want one devision full of HIGHLY PAID PLAYERS who do not know how to conduct them selfs for the sake of the GREAT GAME OF FOOTBALL .Give me people like APPLETON any time THAN the FERGUSON & DALGLISH AFTER YESTERDAY performance . Lets Hear you Pompey Supports Play UP For Ever& Ever . FINALLY Holsten you talk out the Hole in you all know ware. Has he ever been to a football match go to PORTSMOUTH. Make & make his statment to the supports who travel ed BLACKPOOL & see what they think.

  • lesg

    Great spirit , great result yesterday and great fans to support the team through thick and thin. Just hope the spirit can prevail in the coming month and I wish everybody at the club all the best. You can make it – except for the southampton match – being a saints fan. But I admire you all and wish you all the best. Bury the hatchet and lets get on making both teams ones to be admired and respected.
    All the best from M27 West!

  • http://pompeychimes.com Peter Digby

    Mandy, Karkos
    Absolutely Spot On with your comments.
    I intend to highlight this article and your excellent comments on my website.

  • toaST

    LOL. Pompey fans need to get real.

  • toaST

    Also, if the FA had not let any of these owners take you over, you wouldn’t even be here now. You would have gone POP ages ago. FA are in a no-win situation.

  • http://pompeychimes.com Peter Digby

    toaST you are obviously a childish person and the sort that provokes hatred between Portsmouth and Southampton.
    That sort of person is rightly referred to as a ‘scummer’.
    I 4-1 think that your ‘hatred’ is born out of jealousy of the support for Portsmouth Football club – the fan base world-wide.
    The Club has been subjected to crooked owners since Mandaric departed and this is not the fault of the Pompey fans or the football club itself.
    If you persist with your attitude of hate, then remember what goes around comes around.
    I have been a Pompey fan for 50 years and have never shown disrespect to other fans like you are doing.

  • http://Www.pompeyfc.co.uk Peter Storie

    I can confirm that Portsmouth Football club worked with in their means till the sale from Milan, where rich owners with poor long term visibility took control. The ans don’t need to be punished, would you punish the victim of theft, rape or GBH? No! You punish the culprit. That’s the way the law of the land operates, and is how the FA should also. They and the HMRC shoul be taking the previous owners to court, not imposing ridiculous point deductions on the club. This should then set a presidency for other owners and other clubs which might make other owners think twice

  • toaST

    I feel for the fans, I do, but it’s no good blaming the FA.

    P.Storrie sold PFC’s sole to the Devil!

    and, Quality over Quantity…………hasn’t helped.


  • Nobby1954

    Well said Peter, the FA should take some responsibilty for whats gone on at Pompey, the only people who suffer are the employee’s, local business’s and the fantastic fans who have done nothing to deserve all this worry. Even now the present people in control of the club are saying nothing while no doubt they decide on the next course of action they will take purely to protect their own interest’s. Its the owners who have allowed this to happen, not the employee’s or fans. HMRC, FA and Football League take note!

  • Nobby1954

    How did Peter Storie do that then toast? he was an employee. please don’t comment on things you obviously know nothing about, your sarcastic comments achieve nothing. PUP

  • Brian

    Well said Peter you are right with all you said

  • Wes Tender

    What incredible naivety from Callum Lawton. Either that, or the most bare-faced brazen cheek. So the FL has rules that determine that when a club suffers an administration, a set number of points are deducted and yet he reckons that an exception should be made of Portsmouth because the FL should never have passed their succession of crooked owners as fit and proper.

    Frankly, Callum, I think that you have missed a chance here. You ought to be campaigning for the FL to be awarding you additional points for the suffering they have caused plucky little ole Portsmouth, instead of taking them off you.

    And the Government ought to be wiping off your tax debts and settling the administration costs from the last time too, shouldn’t they?

    Well, I’m afraid that I think that it is about time that an example was made of PFC as a deterrent to all other British clubs, that if they spend money they don’t have in an effort to buy the FA Cup and a position in the Premiership, that they will have to face the possibility of oblivion as a consequence when it all goes tits-up.

  • nobby1954

    What incredible naivety from Wes Tender, the article is about the FAPP test not pompey he’s just using PFC as an example, most clubs are in debt. including yours no doubt, the level of debt in the prem makes portsmouths problems look like small change, are you telling me man u spurs man city liverpool etc aren’t spending money to win things or stay in the prem. Do me a favour!! they may all have rich backers but the money they put in will turn into loans when they get bored, oh and West Ender you would’t be a stains supporter by any chance? Though so!

  • john frisbee

    Comment from Australia. We all have to live within our means,
    Pompey have sold all their good players from the Cup Final and
    drawing with Milan. Harry was like a kid in a sweet shop,with
    his dealing which a 21000 capacity club could not afford.
    In the PL YOU ARE COMPETING with the top teams IE. MANU
    the 3rd richest in the world, all of revenue was expended in wages,it was not to be sustained,when we got relegated we got the parachute
    payments to make up for in excess of 33millionTV money.
    What I dislike is ill-informed comment,how many Pompey players
    are now in THE SPURS TEAM(3RD IN PL)dEFOE,kranky,kaboul,
    DIARRA.Not bad eh,plus others, the point is they have all gone in
    5 years.Good job Spurs have money,else they would be in trouble.
    Have people forgotten that Saints were saved by the Swiss, I used
    to live in Eastleigh,and go to the Dell.Why are people so hatefull.

    Here in Melbourne,all codes of Football share grounds, when PFC
    WERE IN THE PL they could have used ST MARY’S, AND WOULD HAVE 30,000+CROWDS,AND NOT BE IN A
    FINANCIAL PICKLE.,but that would not happen as people are so spitefull,
    grown men calling each other names,how mature is that.
    Anyway Saints fans will have to look atBRIGHTON OR BOURNEMOUTH,AS WE WILL NOT EXSIST.
    I AM ORIGINALLY FROM devon,but lived in Portsmouth,Fareham,Titchfield,and was proud to go to Barton
    Peveril Grammar,so I do feel qualified, also I hope the sfc do go
    up, Hants does need a PL CLUB.

  • Steve

    I don’t understand these supporters blaming the FA and the FAPPT.

    Surely the club could have carried out their own version of a Fit and Proper Person’s Test before deciding to get into bed with this succession of dubious characters.

    Google is readily available and easy to use.

  • martyn_reddog

    While i do feel sorry for the clubs supporters i feel more sorry for all the little local business’s that have gone bust because pompy run up such massive debts and enter administration so they don’t have to reply the debts they have run up. Why should football clubs across the country get away with running up such debts and get away without never paying them back? If i run up debts i either have to pay back the money i owe or go to prison. Why do all football clubs seem to get away owing millions and millions and never paying it back? Yet the same clubs that run up these debt’s continue to sign and pay average footballers 15 to 25 thousand a week while paying back none of the debts they have run up. Football has become a joke agents and players get payed way to much and real football fans and local business’s end up paying for it in more than just a massive amount of money. We end up watching our clubs go down hill and never recover and watching our local business’s go bust all for the dream of premiership football and paying stupid amounts of money to keep the players we think will one day get us their. We need to wake up smell the coffee and start telling these players either take a massive pay cut or fuck off because you aren’t running our clubs into the ground no longer. Oh and thanks for letting us sign steve Cotternil he’s doing a great job i must say 🙁

  • http://pompeychimes.com Peter Digby

    silly reply by you really.
    The club was sold each time by OWNERS (or in one case whilst in administration). The ‘club’ as you put it was in the hands of these crooks/incompetents who had their own interests in who they sold to.
    How could ‘the club’ (as you put it) carry out their own version of a fit and proper persons test?
    These crooks/incompetents had the say who they were selling to and had no interest other than collecting money.
    It was up to the FA to do a Fit and Proper test.
    They have failed to google (as you put it).

  • Steve

    The last time the club was sold it was by the club’s administrator – not the owner.
    He should have ensured that Antonov was a sound prospective owner with a good reputation.
    Any cursory check would have turned up the fact that the FSA had already stopped him having a banking business in this country.
    As far as I know the FA’s FAPPT does not test an individual’s wealth but only investigates any criminal record.
    I don’t think Mr. Antonov will be passing it again if that’s any comfort.
    Maybe Mr. Andronikou was really working for Mr. Chainrai during the last administration and not for the creditors of PFC.
    No, surely not!

  • Peter Rendle

    “And there but for the grace of god go I”. Pompey got into trouble as a result of the GFC. We had a backer, like almost every other club in the league and he got into financial trouble as per a number of companies world wide, including banks. From then on a number of circumstances, totally beyond the control of the fans, set off a chain of events that has led to the current situation. As a supporter for 60 years and knowing the quality of the Pompey faithful, we have got right behind our team fighting for our lives.
    And so now the vultures and parasites who call themselves fans are hovering eager to deliver the final blow citing ‘cheating’ and opportunism as their feeble excuse. Well let me say this. Put yourselves in our position and then work out how you would feel and what you would do…….and be careful of what you wish of Pompey.The way football is going we will not be the las tclub to get into financial strife and the next club may just be yours. I now live in Australia and watched the Blackpool game live on tv at 4am in the morning. The Pompey fans made me feel even prouder of a club that will not go down without a big fight. PUP We will never give up.

  • gary

    the first two post are surely southhampton fans with no knoledge at all about pompey . the football league failed pompey by not doing the fit and proper persons test properly . if they take points away from pompey not only are they taking it away from all the hard work by the players also the they are taking it away from the hard supporting pompey fans the club dont just belong to a company it belongs mostly to the fans

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