Portsmouth’s blocked attempt to gain entry into the Europa League by the Premier League and FA has been met by calls from the club to reconsider such action. Given Portsmouth’s complete mismanagement and pretty scandalous operation, maybe they should concentrate on the FA Cup final and graciously accept the punishments they deserve.
Balram Chainrai, the owner of Portsmouth before the administrator was called in told the Guardian: ‘We are trying to put things right at Portsmouth by putting proper governance procedures in place and ensuring all financial matters are above board and transparent. Yet the club seems to be continually being punished for the problems created by previous regimes. How many more times will Portsmouth be punished for that which was absolutely not the responsibility of myself, the players and most importantly our loyal supporters?’
Whilst his sentiments may hold true, it is not his fault, nor is it the now suffering fans. To sweep under the rug the complete lack of regard for financial control is borderline criminal. Portsmouth has done an incredible thing this season. To get to the FA Cup final is a testament to the players on the field. They have been terribly unlucky this season and a last hooray at Wembley is deserved. The Portsmouth fans deserve it too.
Yet questions must be asked. Upon Portsmouth spending lavishly under Harry Redknapp and doling out massive wages in order to secure top talent I didn’t hear many Pompey fans moaning. Nor would I expect to. Just as Leeds United fans didn’t grumble at the lavish transfer budgets and wages Peter Risdale bestowed upon David O’Leary. Yet when the cards come crumbling down, acceptance of the consequences must occur amongst you Portsmouth faithful. Your club overspent and is now paying for it.
The Premier League and FA formulating adequate punishments to clubs if they are reckless in their spending and forced into administration is a must. It’s painful I can imagine, trust me I’m a Newcastle United fan, I know pain. But without such stringent measures there are fewer disincentives to clubs to not over spend. Europa League football would have been nice next season, but let’s be really honest.
With Portsmouth stripped of any real assets they have with a Championship side would they even make it pass the first round? It’s very unlikely. A pointless exercise that could be to the detriment of Pompey’s promotion hopes for next season. Furthermore the lure here seems to be monetary side of the Europa League. Portsmouth won’t be in the competition long enough to reap much reward. Instead of wasting time exploring the avenue of European football, the club should concentrate on finding a buyer and the fans on a Wembley cup final that could, just could have a fairytale ending.
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