An open letter to Portsmouth owner Ali Al Faraj is set to be delivered to the doors of Fratton Park today, with fans revolting against the current regime.
The letter was organised and signed by 12 Portsmouth fan representatives, including Colin Farmery and John ‘PFC’ Westwood.
Despite reports suggesting otherwise, a planned march from Milton Park to Fratton Park will take place, with the handing over of the letter suggested to take place at 2.15pm.
The letter is as follows:
AN OPEN LETTER TO ALI AL FARAJ
OWNER OF PORTSMOUTH FOOTBALL CLUB
January 16, 2010
Dear Mr Al Faraj,
We welcome the recent initiative by your brother Ahmed and Mark Jacob to make fans more aware of the current situation at Fratton Park. However, there remains significant concern about the way in which the football club has been run since your takeover in October.
Paying the staff and keeping key creditors, such as HMRC and other football clubs, happy is a fundamental aspect of any football club’s business and the failure to do this has caused widespread alarm among supporters, frustrated at seeing their club humiliated nationally and internationally on a regular basis. Your due diligence must have shown that there were substantial financial problems to be dealt with – and your ownership of the club means fans rightly believe those obligations are now yours to resolve.
Your brother’s confidence that investment may well be forthcoming in ‘two to three months’ is a welcome move for the longer term, but seemingly fails to recognise Portsmouth FC needs investment now if it is to stand a reasonable chance of using the transfer window to recruit the players required to avoid relegation. The fact the transfer embargo is still to be lifted, despite your representations, is hugely concerning.
We call on you to match your words with urgent action:
1. Provide the short-term finance necessary to lift the transfer embargo and allow Avram Grant to recruit the players he wants
2. Retain the key players in the squad, such as Kaboul, Boateng and O’Hara
3. Agree a deal with HMRC to remove the winding up order hanging over the club
4. Agree to attend a forum on a specified date in the immediate future organised by fans to answer their questions. We would invite you too to attend a match at Fratton Park as soon as possible.
5. Continue to take the steps necessary to ensure the promised major investment is secured – and continue to inform fans of progress at all stages.
Supporters wish to work with the board in every way possible to bring security and new success to our great club, but need to see positive, demonstrable and swift action to enact the pledges you have made.
Play up Pompey!
John Westwood – Ken Malley National Committee Football Supporters Federation –
Tony Goodall PISA – Nigel Tressider Pompey Central Branch Supporters Club – Matt Partridge Pompey Supporters Trust – Colin Farmery PVA – Barbara Kinnaird – Peter Morley – Dave Lemon – Mason Lemon – Tracey Devenish – Steve Compton
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