In light of a fans’ protest movement emerging, Portsmouth’s executive director Marc Jacob has suggested the club’s financial future is soon to be stabilised.
Pompey yet again failed to pay their players on time today, despite promises by the club that they would be. A new deadline has been set for the end of the week.
The PFA have already been involved once this week, holding meetings with club officials and senior players alike.
Described as a ‘financial hitch’, that is, ‘not the club’s fault’, it was the third time the club’s player’s wages were delayed this season.
Ali Al Faraj, who took over the club as owner in October, was said at the time to be the man to take Portsmouth to ‘the next level’. However, fans have yet to see this claim materialise equalling yet another egg on face moment for CEO Peter Storrie.
The numbers of lies that have been spouted from the club haven’t gone down too well with the Fratton Faithful. Ever since Portsmouth faced Arsenal at home, a protest movement has flourished.
The protests started off small with a number of chants aimed at the ineptitude of the two Arab owners. Chants included, ‘Where’s our money gone?’, ‘You can stick your f****** Arabs up your a***!’ and rather literally, ‘Pay the bills or f*** off’.
A crowd of near 200 grouped themselves outside Fratton Park after Pompey’s recent FA Cup fixture against Coventry. Chants were directed towards the directors before stalwart defender Younes Kaboul came out to greet the fans.
He sympathised with the fans and explained he realised the circumstances were difficult, not only for the fans but also for the players. Kaboul is one of Pompey’s prized assets and is expected to leave later this transfer window. Thus far, he has already been linked with a move to French side Lyon.
Jacob and co. believe they have now paid the bills, or rather the majority of them. The Premier League are already interfering, taking Portsmouth’s January share of the television monies, handing money back to clubs Pompey owed for transfers, including Tottenham, Chelsea and Watford.
Pompey fans have no reason to fear, new investment is on its way and the players are set to be paid tomorrow….we’ve heard that before.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Jacob said: “The funds are already in my account and they have been authorised to go, so depending on the banking system the funds will be with the players on Thursday morning.
“We’re very confident this is the end of any trauma that the club has been suffering, not only in the last month or so but perhaps for the last couple of years.
“We’re very, very confident there will be an injection of funds and I’d just like to place on record how supportive the fans have been over the period since the takeover despite one or two recent issues.
“The fans should be assured that the long-term future of Portsmouth is going to be secured.”
Plans for an organised protest are taking shape rather quickly, and despite Jacob’s promise of stability, the protests are set to take place at the club’s next home game versus Birmingham.
Two marches will take place on the day, one starting from Milton Park, the other from Guildhall Square. Events, music and food will all be available from 1.15pm at Milton Park while at the same time; Guildhall Square protestors will start their march to Fratton Park.
The police are aware of the planned protest at Milton Park and remain supportive as long as it remains peaceful. They were reluctant to support the march from Guildhall Square due to the fear they would have to close roads off.
Protestors will march from Milton Park at 2.15pm, carrying petitions, banners and posters featuring a single question mark, symbolising the confusion surrounding the ownership of the club.
Whether the protests will achieve anything is up for debate, nevertheless, they’ll certainly gather press attention if enough people participate. I would encourage any Pompey fan in the area to participate.
All fans only want one thing from the club at this moment time, honesty, something we’ve been deprived of over the past few years.
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