by Jordan Draper
With the PST waiting in the wings to takeover the club, should Chainrai pull the plug on the deal, fans and everyone associated with Pompey have made it no secret that the PST remain their favoured bidder.
Made up of fans and local business people who seek the ‘best interests of the club’, it’s obvious that they would be a much more appropriate consortium of owners to take the helm at the club. Trust wouldn’t be an issue at all; a desperate ingredient needed at Pompey to end the nightmare that fans and management are being persistently dragged through on a daily basis and the bad news doesn’t stop there.
According to reports, Balram Chainrai, has slashed the wage bill he once promised to manager Michael Appleton from a reported £4.5m to a bleak £1.5m. The news is yet another devastating blow to Appleton’s chances of achieving a successful campaign this season and means he will have to look elsewhere for new recruits; throwing all of his tireless pre-season preparations out of the window.
Speaking to BBC radio Solent, Appleton said:
“It’s slightly unprofessional, I’m not pleased about it but what can I do about it? I can’t do anything about it but get on with it.”
According to Appy, he had several players already lined up and ready to sign for the club eager to re-ignite their careers, however with the wage bill cut by almost 60% he will have to look elsewhere.
“It’s not an ideal situation,” Appleton continued. “I thought I would have 20 players going on the pre-season tour to Spain so I could get the team organised. But here we are with a day to go and I haven’t got anyone.”
“I have been recruiting all summer, working on the basis that the budget was a certain amount. What you do is get the best 20 players you feel can fit that budget.
“If the budget is what is being reported at the minute then it makes the job very, very difficult. Those players I’ve recruited, a lot of them I won’t be able to sign because we won’t be able to afford them.
“The problem you’ve then got is trying to find players to fit the new budget. All the best players will be gone and all you’re left with are players who aren’t good enough for that level.”
Appy has urged that Chainrai meet him as soon as possible to discuss the wage bill issue, as he has not actually been involved with discussions over the topic as yet.
“The most important thing in any business is dialogue between the people that count and I’d like to think at some point the manager of a football club will have a say on what happens,” he said.
“It’s difficult and has made my life 10 times harder. It’s not as if I needed it to be any harder.”
We thought it would alright from here onwards but how wrong were we, there’s always bad news coming out of Pompey at the minute. Despite the pride in which we all share as fans of Portsmouth FC, there is a slight hint of embarrassment regarding Pompey’s first competitive game of the season tomorrow against Plymouth in the Capital Once Cup as Appleton looks set to play a team comprised of youth and development players.
The only players that have been involved with first team experience in some form or another and are set to play tomorrow night include Sam Magri, Adam Webster and Ashley Harris, although it remains to be seen whether or not trialists will be offered short term contracts so they are able to play. On a brighter note, Portsmouth fans will not have to worry about nobody being in goal as trialist Simon Eastwood earlier today signed on a non-contract basis and will be eligible to play.