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Portsmouth future remains uncertain
Published : 22 Feb 2011 15:35:21
Following an investigation by Sky Sports, ongoing frustrations have been raised by reluctant Portsmouth Football Club owner Balram Chainrai, as well as those who put money into the club each season through ticket, replica kit and hospitality sales - the supporters.
This Saturday marks one year on from the day when Portsmouth became the first Premier League side to enter administration, and a similar stretch of time since Chainrai took over the reigns at Fratton Park, forcing out the regime fronted by Ali Al Faraj and other non-existent Arab investors.
Chainrai admitted in the report that Portsmouth are still owed money for Kevin-Prince Boateng, who moved to Italian side Genoa in the summer, a fee reported to be in the region of £1million. He also lifted the lid on potential takeovers at the club, after once again admitting that he was the "accidental owner" of the team and albeit "slowly falling in love with the club", he wanted to find an owner that would return Pompey to their glory days.
The owner did reveal that ongoing takeover talks had taken place, with consortia from Russia, England, China and Eastern Europe, giving fans reason to be hopeful. This hope remained, until realisation that the side would be without eight first team names in the summer - unless new contracts can be sorted on a very limited budget.
Frustration had been circling amongst the Fratton faithful, who want stability for their club - dragged through courts, media and financial turmoil over the past year - and will not stop until their club can finally move on from a long period of financial mismanagement, aiming to get back to not just Premier League football, but the luxury of having players available outside of the 18 required on match days.
As a supporter of the club, I still find myself questioning the current regime, and although I can appreciate that efforts are being made to sell the club - revelations made by manager Steve Cotterill leave many questions unanswered, including why the owners allowed us to have many games around Christmas struggling for a starting eleven, and how even during the January transfer window, we still scraped our way to a full team at home to Burnley.
For a business that Chainrai is keen to keep alive and is "slowly falling in love with", it seems more could have been done since the removal of the club's transfer embargo, allowing them to add to the minimum 20 squad players allowed. This however, failed to materialise, and Chainrai proved unwilling to add to his already £17million loan to the South Coast side.