Pay Up Pompey indeed

Posted by on Oct 5, 2010 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Wikipedia entry for Milan Mandarić rather cheekily describes him as a “Serbian-American crook” in its first paragraph and before I denounce such scurrilousness, I should point out that he has been charged, but not convicted of being a little cavalier in his attitude towards National Insurance.

Events of the past fortnight have emphasized the former Connecticut Bicentennials owner’s position as this league’s most prominent svengali.

At Leicester, we have the arrival of Sven. Vichai and Aiyawatt Rakriaksorn may now be in charge but the 72 year old has stayed on as Chairman as a prominent shareholder in the consortium. Without question, this is a tawdry, vulgar move – Sven’s CV has become severely compromised since that night in Munich and the man who took just three stikers to a World Cup, was viewed as no more efficient than a lookalike in Mexico and helped acutely embarrass a proud club in Notts County. I haven’t even mentioned the money.

Then there is Pompey: quite inexpicably fielding Ricardo Rocha, Kanu and more top level wage earners than Enron circa the Year 2000. Again, Mr. Mandarić left in 2006 but he set the tone for the maelstrom of irresponsibility surrounding that club – do they have no dignity? “Pay Up Pompey” indeed.

Rob Langham
Rob Langham is co-founder of the defiantly non-partisan football league blog, The Two Unfortunates, a website that occasionally strays into covering issues of wider importance. He's 50 and lives in Oxford while retaining his boyhood support of Reading FC. He tweets as @twounfortunates and has written for a number of websites and publications including The Inside Left, When Saturday Comes, In Bed with Maradona, Futbolgrad and The Blizzard as well as being nominated for the Football Supporters' Federation Blogger of the Year Award in 2013.


  1. Frank Heaven
    October 15, 2010 Reply
  2. Frank Heaven
    October 15, 2010

    I imagine clubs who previously indugled in Pompey-esque extravagances, and then plummeted through the divisions following fire sales of their best players, will be watching events at Fratton Park very closely.

    Sheffield Wednesday, for instance, continue to labour under huge debts built up in the 1990s – and are paying the penalty with another season in the third tier.

    One would expect a similar fate to befall Portsmouth – given their quoted debts of £120m – but if they can field players like Kanu and Lawrence, survival in the Championship looks quite realistic.

    But as you say – how on earth can they afford to field those players?

    Footnote: I see the Football League has blocked Portsmouth's latest proposal for exiting administration – have they detected yet more irresponsible behaviour at the South Coast club?


Leave a Reply to Frank Heaven

Cancel Reply