New lease of life allows for optimism once againBy: Mark | August 7th, 2010
Pompey survived HMRC’s high court challenge, and with the surprising news that the taxman will not appeal the road looks clear for the club to exit administration.
What a relief. I honestly didn’t think the Blues would get the decision on Thursday, let’s hope Balram Chainrai can now takeover. He has issued worrying quotes about the club selling to him rather than him buying the club- perhaps suggesting he is a reluctant investor.
His solicitor said outside the courthouse on Thursday that he realizes the only way to get back some money is to invest in the club, and he has since said getting back to the Premiership would be his goal.
Big words indeed from a man looking to buy a team with 14 senior players at time of writing. Jamie Ashdown has put pen to paper to return in another piece of farcical transfer dealing by the club- why let him go when David James was never certain to stay? I hear big things about Liam O’Brien from the academy but he is obviously not ready for first team football. Let’s hope he is another Asmir Begovic- apart from the selling him to Stoke bit.
Stephen Jordan had agreed a deal but now looks set to ditch the Blues for Sheffield United, but doesn’t seem fit anyway- and there are still long-term problems for Hermann Hreidarsson and Danny Webber. So can we be optimistic? I hope so.
A back four of Jordan, Sonko, Wilson and Mokoena would have been a decent championship rearguard but would certainly need strengthening if Chainrai’s Premiership return dreams are to be realized. And with only Joel Ward and perhaps Peter Gregory as realistic backups, strengthening still needs to be done.
In the midfield, I cannot believe the club are even contemplating selling Matt Ritchie. I, like many other fans I suspect, have not seen enough of him to cast an opinion but he has been a promising academy product for several years and done well when sent out on loan- why not give him a chance in the Championship? I clearly remember a whole story about how much he wants to play for the club and that local passion would go down well with the fans at the moment.
Reading some pundit’s predictions have brought me pleasant reading also. Whereas I don’t think it’s harsh to say some media outlets gave Portsmouth FC some very biased coverage in the top flight, perhaps the Championship together with the club’s off-the-field plight will change the opinion of many. The lowest I have seen the Blues predicted is 12th so far.
I would be very happy with that at the end of the season.