Pompey’s club in tough times

| 05/01/2010

(CNS): Despite the trials and tribulations of Portsmouth Football Club its new mascot ‘Pompey’ the blue iguana can sleep easy as the DoT says it has been assured by the club’s commercial director that they are still backing their new lizard friend all the way. The ongoing financial troubles of the club reached a new high recently when HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) applied for a winding up petition against the struggling premier league side. The club’s sponsorship of one of Cayman’s own ‘blues’ came about following a visit to the islands by the club’s director of operations, Lucius Peart.

Having visited the blue iguana recovery programme Peart was completely taken by ‘Pompey’ who although no good at football  is one of only a handful of Blue Iguana’s that had survived in the wild. Rescued from the side of road and almost certain death she is now living at the blue iguana recovery programme at the botanic park where she is adding her diverse genes to boost the limited pool of the breeding programme.

The sponsorship which was welcomed by the National Trust which runs the programme is not at risk even though the football club is struggling to strengthen its financial position by then and threatened with bankruptcy. “Pompey” is to feature on a collection of merchandise which will still be going on sale to the clubs fans in the UK.

Portsmouth has disputed the amount of money HMRC says it owes and was expecting the demands to be withdrawn according to reports on the BBC. If it does not, the club said it anticipates, "a hearing being held in early January 2010 during which we will request that the High Court order HMRC to withdraw their demands.” It added the VAT, PAYE and National Insurance contributions owed to HMRC had been paid, were about to paid, or were being disputed.

Portsmouth currently lies at the bottom of the Premier League and has recently appointed ex-Chelsea manager Avram Grant to try to revive its fortunes on the pitch. The club has been the subject of takeover bids and speculation since the summer.  Dubai businessman Suleiman al-Fahim bought the club in August, having initially agreed a deal in May. But after questions were raised about Mr al-Fahim’s finances, he then sold on a 90% stake in the club to Saudi property tycoon Ali al-Faraj.

Despite promises of significant investment from its new owner, the club remains in financial difficulties. It has even been banned from buying any new players until it pays off debts owed to other English clubs. Under manager Harry Redknapp, Portsmouth won the FA Cup in 2008. However, since Redknapp left for Tottenham Hotspur, the club’s fortunes have been in decline. It has sold many of its cup-winning team, some of which have moved to Spurs to rejoin Redknapp.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Science and Nature

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.