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COMMENT: Taxman likely to use Portsmouth as example

COMMENT: Despite what SKY would have you believe there is life outside the Premiership.

Football supporters aren't just concentrated in the top flight, we all go through the same emotions - elation, joy, despair, disillusionment.

Everything is relative. To some of us simply avoiding relegation is a good result, to others not qualifying for a the Champions League is a disaster, but either way there is a routine to our lives which begins in August and ends in May.

That is unless you are a follower of Portsmouth. Pompey fans could be supporting a Championship side come August…and that's the good news.

There is a distinct possibility they might not have a team to support at all considering their current financial plight.

Here we are in mid-February and Portsmouth are on their second manager, and more incredibly their fourth owner, soon to be five, as the current incumbent Balram Chainrai has already made it known he intends to sell as quickly as possible.

Is this really the same team who enjoyed their moment in the sun and won the FA Cup Final in 2008 with Harry Redknapp in charge and seemed set fair to become an established Premiership club.

Of course critics point to these heady times as the reason Pompey are in the dire straits they are now. Expensive transfer fees, equivalent value wages all contributed to the financial melt down that afflicts them now.

Very few of those players from the class of 2008 are still around, yet behind the scenes amidst all the mismanagement there has been one constant, chief executive, Peter Storrie.

What a perceptive businessman he is; three times he went to the Middle East and three times he came back with investors who had no money…priceless!

Nor does the Premier League come out of this smelling of roses.

Their 'fit and proper persons' test lies in tatters. It would appear that if you are kind to animals and ring your mother once a week the Premier League are smitten. The fact you have no money is just detail to them.

How embarrassing it would be for the PL if Portsmouth were to go out of business as could happen on their next court appearance on the 17th February.

Still, I'm sure all Portsmouth fans have full confidence in their leaders, after all they have such an excellent track record.

Executive director Mark Jacob told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme: "The board have been approached by several interested parties over the last couple of days.

"It's got to the stage where the board will have to take every due care and consideration into the people who do come to the table with regard to proof of funds. We can't have any more short-termism at the club."

Excuse me; "the board will have to take every due care and consideration" - it might have helped if you'd done that for the last three owners!

The only decent way out of this mess is for the Portsmouth board to all fall on their sword, declare administration, take the nine point deduction and start afresh in the Championship.

Harsh, but necessary.

The South Coast club have already had more owners than wins this season so relegation is all but assured.

At least this way Pompey fans will still have a club to support rather than liquidation which will see Portsmouth go out of business and all their results for the season expunged. An outcome the PL will hope to avoid at all costs.

With so many clubs throughout the League's owing money to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, and court cases either pending or outstanding monies paid at the last minute, my sources in the tax world indicate HMRC could be using Portsmouth as an example/warning to other clubs.

Whilst it is of no consolation to Portsmouth supporters, if the ineptness of their own board leads to stronger regulations then some good can come from this sorry episode; then by the end of May the rest of us can look forward with optimism to starting all over again in August.

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