Will Portsmouth Football Club survive?
Over recent weeks fans, football pundits, club officials and administrators have spoken about the danger of Portsmouth F.C. going out of business. But surely this could never happen? This isn't the first time Pompey has gone into adminstration - or faced a winding-up order for unpaid tax. So surely they can pull through again?
But experts are saying - "It's never been as bad as this". That's why star players are being loaned out, even though the club is desperately trying to fend off relegation. Captain Liam Lawrence, striker Eric Huseklepp, midfield lynchpin Hayden Mullins and arguably the player of the season - goalkeeper Stephen Henderson, have all gone. And more could follow. For once, winning football matches isn't the priority. Staying alive is. Administrator Trevor Birch told ITV Meridian "The club is still spending more than it is getting through the door. As administratrators, it is PKF's job to stablilise the situation as quickly as possible...The fact is that every pound the club receives - buys us more time. Finding a buyer for Portsmouth FC remains our number one objective."
Fans groups, like the Pompey Supporters Trust, would like to invest in the club to save it. But so far anyone who's looked at the finances has said it's an almost impossible task. With former owners still owed millions of pounds (recent reports suggesting around £20 million) any new investor would find much of the money goes into paying of old owners and old debts.
As a financial proposition, Portsmouth FC isn't the most attractive commodity on the market. The stadium, Fratton Park, is in serious need of re-development. The club doesn't own it's own training ground and the team may be on the brink of dropping into League One.
But Portsmouth FC has some of the most passionate fans in the world. To go out of business and drop out of the Football League all together would be devastating for them - and the rest of the league. So now is a time for the adminstrators to make drastic decisions. To make the club a viable option for any investor. It doesn't appear like there's any quick resolution - but there is a way for the Pompey chimes to keep on ringing at Fratton Park.
As I found out from insolvency expert - Carl Faulds.