Brendon Bone airs his views on Brian Howe’s visit to the training ground.
I’ve seen with interest this week, Colin Farmery our PR man at Pompey, has facilitated a tour of the new training ground for Brian Howe, the frontman of Bad Company who lives in the United States but hails originally from Portsea Island.
For those uninitiated amongst you, the aging rocker was a strong advocate for Balram Chainrai’s ownership back in the troubling days of our recent past, and spent a large proportion of his time on social media, belittling the efforts of those trying to save the club, both in the guise of the Pompey Trust and also SOS Pompey.
Along with other vocal fans on Twitter and Facebook, a war was waged between those fans trying to save the club and paying their hard earned money in to the ultimate success story of the club we have now, and on the opposite side of the barricades, those who were willing to belittle those efforts with the justification that fans could never run a football club.
Remember that at the head of the PST bid team were successful businessmen, men who run huge independent companies, an MD for one of the largest car dealerships in the area and other assorted, highly qualified individuals, who apparently didn’t have the wherewithal to run a football club. Obviously Pompey had been treated with appalling disdain by a string of second rate owners who had no idea how to run a business, let alone a football club. However, apparently this wasn’t enough.
These pie eyed supporters, fresh from the Premier League era, believed that the only model that would truly save Pompey, was the sugar daddy model, with a single owner pumping in cash to restore former glory.
Except Chainrai was never really interested in club, whatever his motives were, and I’m not about to speculate about them, he certainly wasn’t interested in restoring us to our former glory, and anyone with any sense cold see that. Not these people though. Whether it was the opportunity to get a seat on the board, or a media job for someone, they sided against their fellow fans. For me that is unforgivable.
At a time when the whole of Portsmouth came together to save OUR club, these people were sniping at those efforts. Fans young and old, cobbling together their thousand pounds, syndicates getting together with friends to raise theirs. Children fundraising to find a bit extra. It was a collective effort, yet this wasn’t what was needed, it would all be in vain, we would never win.
Except we did.
Then the campaign continued with the assertion that it would end in nothing but abject failure.
Except it didn’t.
Cue a couple of years and a bit later, we are a club without debt, with a healthy balance sheet, with our own training ground, which I certainly can’t remember in my time, and a crumbling stadium but one where we can rightly be proud that WE saved it.
So what do those supporters who belittled our every effort to save the club get? A tour of the new training ground, an audience with the manager and players and the chance to say how great it all looks.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame Paul Cook or the players. They no doubt see a parade of people coming and going from the training ground on regularity and wouldn’t know Howe from any other supporter who was lucky enough to get a view into the inner workings of the club.
Blame may be a strong word, but I can’t help thinking that the liberals who want to forgive and forget simply don’t get the groundswell of ill feeling towards those who attempted to destabilise the efforts of ordinary working people trying to save a club in need of aid, for their own opportunity.
Some will say, isn’t it time to let bygones be bygones, its water under the bridge and all that. I rarely burn bridges, but the bridges were burned by those individuals for me.
Some of us will never forget what was said and what was done, and that makes this particular episode even harder to swallow for me.
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[Photo: Official PFC]