I’m probably a week late with this article, but so much has been going on that there just wasn’t time to squeeze it in. This isn’t directly relevant to Arsenal and thanks to Arsene I don’t think we will ever be in such a situation at least during my life time. Portsmouth though, might still have a say in the title race when they host Chelsea.
The reason I felt this was an important topic is that football has suffered due to the incompetence of businessmen. There is something fundamentally wrong here and it must be addressed.
Portsmouth, the club, entered administration. I believe every football club is made up of various entities that can be broadly classified into three groups – football, management, and support. Some positions are part of more than one group. For instance, Wenger controls every football related decision but he also takes the finances into consideration hence overlapping with management.
If we consider the reasons a club goes into administration, the main culprits will always be part of the management. The owners, Board of Directors, Chairman, and Chief Executive among others. The manager might also be part of this group if he knows the finances and is involved. Although, based on my limited knowledge, I do feel Arsene is a rare gem in this regard and most managers don’t really understand the financial impact in detail.
In direct contrast, when a club suffers a nine point penalty the people who suffer are mostly from the other two groups. Players, current manager, coaching staff and the fans suffer the most. The support staff pays a heavy price as we have seen from the number of lay-off’s at Pompey.
Not only does football at Portsmouth suffer, the integrity of the League itself is under threat. It is easy to say that Portsmouth players are professionals and they must do their best in every game. But we must never forget that they too are humans and have emotions of their own. If I played for Pompey I’d be gutted. I’d give immense credit to the players if they can give their all in the remaining games thus maintaining the integrity of the League.
In effect, football is suffering on multiple fronts while the real culprits walk away scot free!
How can this be fair? The owners and people like Peter Storrie are free to go and do the same to other clubs while the fans suffer the ignominy of relegation, the players take pay cuts and/or look for other career options, and the manager has a relegation on his resume.
At the very least, the businessmen involved must be banned from being part of any football club management. If it were up to me I’d also impose significant financial penalties on each individual involved in critical decision making that has led to this fiasco.
There is nothing worse than the feeling of impotency that such events evoke. I don’t know if anyone who matters really cares. Perhaps this is similar to other industries where the executives that lead a company to bankruptcy generally leave with lucrative severance packages while the ordinary workers suffer. Or is it that in a civilized world law of the jungle still applies – Might is Right.