By Chris Wright
That’s it. With Liam Lawrence finally skidaddling out of Fratton Park this morning after agreeing to terminate his contract for a compensatory lump sum, Portsmouth now have no senior players left on their books. The two chaps you see there? Adam Webster and Ashley Harris, 17 and 18 respectively, have a grand total of one senior start between them.
Four years ago, Portsmouth were playing the likes of AC Milan in Europe fresh off the back of winning their first FA Cup since 1939. The banks inevitably burst, money was hemorrhaged drumming up huge contracts for various tripe players, a succession of owners proved not quite as ‘fit and proper’ as the FA deemed them and very quickly Pompey sank into their own self-precipitated quagmire of financial doom.
After finally managing to scrape off all the legal limpets clinging manfully to the remainders of their bumper contracts – the likes of Lawrence, Nwankwo Kanu, Tal Ben Haim, Dave Kitson, etc – Pompey’s administrators (who, it should be pointed out, are also siphoning reams of cash from the club) are now finally free to start discussing the sale of the club to whoever the bloody hell wants it. As things stand, Balram Chainrai’s ‘Portpin’ group look favourites.
Meanwhile, in eight day’s time, coach Michael Appleton begins life in League One already ten points behind the pack before a ball is even kicked and with a squad that is to consist of whichever youth teamers and trialists he can successfully corral between then and now. There are valuable lessons to be learned in there somewhere.
Fit and proper owners wanted, please apply within.