Should we feel sorry for Pompey?

There are a number of long-running issues in football that remain unresolved that anyone with half a brain can see will at some point result in large ramifications that can be avoided if tackled early enough.

One of these problems is the ongoing crisis at Portsmouth which has been on the backburner somewhat for the last six weeks since the club’s relegation to League One.

The main stories coming out of the club since relegation from the Championship was confirmed has been the steady stream of players heading out of the door at Fratton Park and the uncertainty over just who will own the club come the start of the 2012/13 campaign on when the club kick off their season at home to Bournemouth on Saturday, August 18.

The Pompey Supporters Trust is still in contention to take over the club but would require further cuts to the wage bill but a proposal by former owner Balram Chainrai to takeover the club looks as if it is the preferred option of administrator Trevor Birch. The PST can still buy the club off of Chainrai if they so wish in the future.

Chainrai’s offer was granted preferred status on the 25th June and meant he had 28 days to make good on his proposal and begin the process of taking Portsmouth out of administration. The wage bill still in place at Portsmouth, despite being down to a first team playing squad that measures in single figures, is making both Chainrai and PST unwilling to commit fully to any proposal.

However, due to the increasing uncertainty of the clubs future, Pompey have been hit with another 10-point penalty for the start of their League One campaign next season; their fourth season in a row to be hit with a points deduction due to their financial situation.

The deduction isn’t 100% official as of yet but if whoever takes up ownership of the club chooses not to play ball, the club’s membership to play in the Football League will be turned down so the club pretty much will start next season with a deduction.

Another condition of acceptance of their membership to play in the League involves all of the football creditors they owe money to (players, teams owed transfer money etc.) be paid in full.

So, does the club really deserve the punishment?

One of the arguments that has been bandied about regarding the situation with Portsmouth since the first points deduction is that it is unfair on the fans of the club.

Up until this point, this blogger has regarded this argument with a certain amount of scepticism as the fans of the club were not complaining when the club lived clearly beyond their means under Harry Redknapp. The club revelled in their position when they succeeded by paying huge wages that everyone knew they couldn’t afford so therefore should deal with any punishment given to them when the club’s extension beyond their means came back to bite them.

The rules about punishments for entering administration are very clear and very correct; there needs to be a deterrent for entering administration as the positions offers clubs a sense of refuge by paying out a fragment of their debt and usually being saved by a benefactor rather than folding.

However, the case with Portsmouth this time around seems somewhat excessive.

Yes, the club remain in administration and the rules are indeed there for a reason but the example this time around seems overly excessive as the club has already been punished for entering THIS period of administration through their points deduction which contributed largely to their relegation last season.

Furthermore, said relegation has also seen many of the club’s players leave resulting in an even more tricky campaign this time around.

In the previous instances of punishments doled out to the club, this blogger has agreed with the reasons given but this time around, it just seems overly excessive.

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