|GIB 4 POMPEY 0: Fiasco Friday leaves Pompey in need of Jules Verne|
Fri 20th Jul 2012 23:00 by Colin Farmery
Right. Let's get the excuses in first. This group of players had never met one another until Monday at the airport. Check. It was a plastic 3G pitch with a bounce and a half. Don't come across them very often. Check. It was pretty hot at 32 degrees. Check.
Oh. 4-0 probably flattered Gibraltar too.
Just when you thought Pompey had reached the nadir - and I don't mean Belhadj - events on Friday July 20, 2012 took Pompey to possibly their lowest point in living memory. Certainly a generation.
I'm reminded of a variation of the old gag with Trevor Birch asking to speak to Jules Verne about one of his 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, as Pompey might need to play in one. Gib Saturday League anyone?
If only. Earlier in the afternoon a statement from administrator Birch set out the stark requirement of the eight 'high wage earners' to move on and accept compromise agreements or Pompey, as we know it, would be no more by the start of the season.
Worse still, the club's long-suffering admin staff have the threat of redundancy hanging over their heads.
Liquidation is in no one's best interests - although some of the small creditors of 2010 may well take the view the time has come to ensure this never happens again - least of all those players.
There is no 'football creditor fairy' who will magic up the cash to fulfil their contracts. The parachute payments that remain will be divvied out among the Premier League clubs. Despite the unjust vilification by some fans, the players are as much victims as anyone of Pompey's chaotic past three years.
But facts are facts. We are at crunch point. Anyone thinking that Birch is bluffing, better be feeling lucky. If Pompey are to survive, it will be down to what those eight players decide to do.
That is an undue and unwarranted pressure on them. All are probably relatively wealthy men by any standards, but they will have families and commitments not to mention the same feeling of impotent frustration and, sometimes, rage we feel as fans.
It is now beyond that.
We need to the players to do the 'right' thing by the club. It is a big ask.
If they don't, has anyone got Mr Verne's number?
The Pompey Supporters' Trust is still seeking pledges from Pompey fans to back their bid. Information can be found here
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