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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 January 2010

Hard chimes for Pompey

LESS THAN two years after winning the FA Cup, Portsmouth Football Club is a club in crisis. In unprecedented events for a club in English football's top division, Pompey have, for the third time this season, failed to pay their players on time.

David Maples

And this is in the richest league in world football where clubs typically receive 40 million to 50 million a season just from television revenue.

In recent months Pompey has stumbled from crisis to crisis. A protracted takeover last summer left the club owned by Sulamain al Fahim who was unable to find the finance to back up his lavish promises. After two months, he sold his majority shareholding to Ali al Faraj, who again failed to finance the club. A farce has now played out and administration or even liquidation is threatened.

Is this a surprise? Since the advent of the Premier League it has increasingly become a playground for international business people. Just as with other parts of the economy, it has become an area for speculators. Ever fancier financial tricks have been used to run clubs with securitisation and loading clubs with debt increasingly the norm.

It is time for fans to act to reclaim the game. Pompey-supporting Socialist Party members produced two bulletins in August calling for supporters to act. In a marvellous demonstration of the capacity of ordinary people to organise, Pompey fans have now started to form a Supporters Trust.

The Socialist Party also called on Portsmouth city council to act. As the elected authority, the council should be challenging the club's latest owners and fighting for a secure future for the club.

We again call on city council leaders to demand answers to what is going on. We also call on them to use their full powers to save the club. The council should prepare a contingency plan now. This should include, if the club goes into administration, preparing to compulsorily purchase the football ground to secure its future for professional football.

If a new club is formed it should be a community club, with democratic control by the supporters. As a community club it should include provision for all types of recreational football - youth, women, disabled, senior and social - alongside elite professional football. As such it could act as an inspiration to others and give a small glimpse of a better way of running society.

Reclaim the Game

The death of the people's game - the great premier league swindle
by John Reid
3.50, including postage
Available from Socialist Books,
PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD or
or ring 020 8988 8789

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 13 January 2010:

Decent jobs - not slave labour

Protest against bankers' bonuses

Leeds City Council Future Jobs Fund is no solution

Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition

Launch of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Socialist Party news and analysis

Labour's leadership crisis - time for a new workers' party

Global warming chills the north

The real cost this winter

Iceland debt crisis: Make the 'dirt bags' pay!

No to County Council cuts in Warwickshire!

Fast news

Northern Ireland

Corruption scandal grips Northern Ireland

Socialist Party workplace news

Fujitsu workers say: "Enough is enough"

Signallers' strike spreads

Buses - privatisation means worse services

Teesside fight to save jobs

Twinings jobs meeting

Hospital workers battle on

Unison Witchhunt

Unison witch-hunt: Shock exposures at Employment Tribunal

Workplace Feature

Call centres: Union campaign makes important gains

Socialist Party international feature

Greece - on the edge of a volcano

International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka presidential elections: No to the two warmongers!

Israel: Instability, class polarisation and socialism

Chile - Freedom for Elena Varela


Hard chimes for Pompey


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