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SJ MASKELL: Players have their part to play in not killing Pompey

Posted by Pompeyexile on January 12, 2013 at 9:10 PM

SJ MASKELL: Players have their part to play in not killing Pompey

Sat 12th Jan 2013 17:36 by SJ Maskell

The first Pompey home game of the year has been called off, but to be honest, I have had to have a serious think about whether I want to go to Fratton Park. To be frank, I am getting very tired with quite a number of things about Portsmouth Football Club.

I am tired of the way the team is playing. For the last two games I have seriously wanted to go home at half time. It has been hard to escape the feeling that some of the players on the pitch do not realise that they are playing a part in killing the club.It is an attitude that seems to linger from the ghost of Appleton’s silent gargoyle-like presence in the technical area. Some have performed as if his malign eye was still upon them. Fearful of making mistakes they perpetuate their errors and our misery in equal measure. It is sad that the passion of Whittingham and Awford is so palely imitated on the pitch.

If fans of other clubs don’t appreciate the sufficiency of our punishment for enjoying 2008 then they should be made to sit in the Fratton End for a game or two.

I am tired of the constant debates about the facts of how and why we are where we are. And yes, I am aware of the irony of this, being one of those who contributed to them in great measure. But we are where we are. There is no other buyer than the Pompey Supporters’ Trust and all the nit-picking analysis in the world will not change that situation. No one else wants to own this club right here, right now. And it is right here, right now that a proper owner is needed.

I appreciate and share the frustration and anger that our situation arouses but if we are to be realists, let us not get lost in irrelevancies. There is no need for ‘fair and balanced debate’ about the situation for nothing in the situation has been fair in any way, shape or form. No one involved in this slow-motion car crash has been fair towards us, the fans, for many years now.

Above all I am tired of hearing the negativity from many quarters about the Trust bid. Like the players it seems there are those who are fearful of it failing and so do not wish to be involved. They back away from tackling the difficulties that any fan owned club can face in the current football climate. It seems they lack the vision to see what Pompey could be if only the club could embody the qualities of the fans. It is indeed fortunate that those involved in the bid, like Whittingham and Awford, are not hiding from the fight.

And it will be difficult for many years to come, not only because, as Micah Hall says, ‘you can’t put all this damage right overnight,’ but also because many in the football world will want us to fail. They will want us to fail because a successful club run with the values enshrined in the Trust movement says loud and clear, ‘the gravy train stops here.’

The only way Pompey can succeed is with people running the club who believe in what they are doing and who do it consistently over the long term. That is why it has to be the fans who own and control the club from now on. No one else has that belief or that interest in the long term.

It is a daunting project. But we are not the first to face it and we won’t be the last. If it can produce results in the same way Swansea City have, bringing success and flowing football without compromising the values of fan ownership, then it is one worth undertaking. Following their example we can learn from and refine on the model they have used, making it uniquely Pompey.

Until we can begin, the club has to survive. And it needs cash flow to do that. So I have bought my ticket for  the game, whenever it is played and will do the same for the Hartlepool match in a fortnight, because I’ll be damned if I give up the fight when we are so close to the first step. Whether I last the game out is up to the players. They need to show the same fighting qualities on the pitch as the fans are going to have to show off it.


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