Wednesday, February 24, 2010

24 February 2010: Pompey

Back in Kokomo now.

On the import side of things, Melbourne's Safeway supermarket (no, it's not Morrison's) (and it's actually owned by Woolworths, which is even weirder) (and no, it's not THAT Woolworth's, it's a different company of the same name) (sheesh)... anyway, said Safeway carried plenty of Cadbury items, including things you can't get easily in the UK any more such as 'Picnic', along with their own special Aussie choccy bars such as 'Cherry Ripe' (guess which fruit features in that chocolate bar) and something called 'Moro' which appears to be a Mars bar made by Cadbury. The Aussie version of 'Heroes' happily contains little bite-size versions of Turkish Delight, which was excellent. Couldn't find any M&S style swiss rolls though. Maybe Nigel Kennedy ate them all.

Also it seems they understand Crunchy Nut Cornflakes over there, so our cupboard now boasts an international range of Crunchy Nut boxes, none of which are from the devoid-of-Crunchy-Nut USA. No Alpen, but we can get that imported from Canada so no major loss there. Apart from that though, the range of imported items was generally restricted to confectionery. Absolutely no Vegemite was brought in.

Back here though, and the jet-lag is weird this time. Go to bed around 10pm, wake up an hour later and stay awake until 4am? Then up as usual at 6 or 7 and head to work... so I'm not on Australia time, it's just something weird and in-between. Feel like a zombie, to be honest. (And why are there no zombies around any more, by the way? Answer: life insurance policies - they don't cover being undead, so in order to ensure payout zombies have to go into hiding and never be seen. Just thought I'd share that observation.)

Finally, Portsmouth FC (otherwise known as the Pompey Skate Scummers or other equally-rude words) are on the verge of going under. The question is, how far and how quickly? Unlike Saints last year who approached it in a relatively sane and legal manner, Pompey have spent most of this year buying players and getting loan players in who they flat-out can't afford and only now, when the tax people are saying "hang on, why haven't you payed any tax for the last 3 years?" did a court case come, and now (well, Friday) administration. Opinion seems divided on whether even the administration is legal. Rumours abound that actually there's a lot going on below the surface that's even more dodgy, and words such as money-laundering by the four owners they've this year continue to be bandied around.

The thing is, the Premier League don't want bad publicity, and therefore the illegalities will probably be swept under whatever carpets can be found. Let's be honest: if they (and the police) had really investigated illegal goings on, Tottenham Hotspur wouldn't be riding high in the Prem right now because Harry would be in prison. Possibly multiple times. So whether anything will happen beyond a 9-point deduction and subsequent relegation remains to be seen. Don't hold your breath.

On the other hand, don't be surprised if the current and past owners, in some guise or other, miraculously come up with a 'rescue package' to take the club out of administration in the next week or so. Into admin, clear the debts, take the points hit, and off we go again. You'd think HMRC might have something to say about that, wouldn't you?

Once again, don't hold your breath.


Doug said...

There's a further headache for the FA because they'd have to think about purging all of Pompey's results and that might be a problem for teams nearby - not currently in the drop zone.

As I understand it, trading whilst insolvent is a crime and it seems like all sorts of stuff is going on behind the scenes because the basic facts just don't add up.

If you hear the sound of hooves then expect to see a horse, not a zebra. Occam's razor or whatever...

On a more promising side note:
I heard on the radio that a pompey fan snapped up the rights to the the crescent logo, another has bought some variation of the club name, the ground has to stay as a football ground so can't be sold off and it would appear that a club based in Portsmouth would have a right to play there if they formed.

So it looks like some of the fans are preparing for an AFC Pompey type thing, if they do then it has to be a good thing and good luck to them.

To think that I thought rupert lowe was a crappy chairman!

The Premier League need to start looking at a different structure, dare I say it similar to MLB/NFL to get a handle on debt in the game. I wouldn't really want to be Man Utd or Liverpool at the moment...

Doug said...

Man Utd just sold a load of bonds to refinance part of their debt, thats a genius move of Andy Fastow proportions.

Doug said...

and is it just me or does peter storrie look a bit like rupert lowe?

DuncMcRae said...

The worst thing for the PL is that if they save face, they could turn out to be assisting in something pretty criminal. Beyond the trading while insolvent charge, the rumours (pretty well established now) are that the puppet-master in all this is former chairman Gaydamak's dad - Arcadi Gaydamak - who is a convicted arms dealer and money-launderer. He was sued by Chanrai (current owner) for 17 million, and then Chanrai put exactly that amount into Pompey. Chanrai has now arranged the deckchairs such that his debt will be paid first (and possibly the only one to be paid) in his now dual role as Owner and Main Creditor (which is how he's even able to put them in admin while under a winding-up order). That money will be paid out of nice, clean Sky TV/Premier League parachute payments and Arcadi can then get his money back, fresh with the smell of Persil/Tide (delete as applicable). Meantime everyone takes a cut along the way and we're all happy.

Apart from HMRC. You'd think they'd figure out in a scam like this, when you're pretending to be legal, you HAVE to pay the taxes otherwise you get a court summons. I wonder if they'll let this drop, esp. now there's an administrator looking through the books.

Doug said...

looks like they're back in court this week...

Doug said...
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Doug said...

other genius sporting moves this week were the Orioles resigning Tejada... because he's not past it at all and doesn't swing at anything that moves thus continually striking out cheaply.

(I'm ensuring an all star season by talking him down)