Portsmouth and Southampton again
Posted by John Beech on June 5, 2009
Back in April I commented on some of the similarities and differences between these two South Coast rivals (1).
Since then, for Southampton the uncertainty over their future ownership, and indeed survival, has continued. As I write, there is talk of a mystery multi-millionaire and the announcement of a new board this week (2). We shall see.
Meanwhile at Portsmouth there is excitement over the takeover, still subject to due diligence, by Sulaiman Al-Fahim (3). Again, we shall see.
What is so striking is the almost arbitrary nature of the appearance of ‘wallets to the rescue’, and, so far just in the case of Portsmouth (we need to wait and see just who Saints’ mystery benefactor is), the lack of any local identity and commitment. Does Dr Al-Fahim have fond memories of seaside holidays in Southsea, or good friends in Copnor, Paulsgrove or Leigh Park? It seems unlikely.
This geographical arbitrariness in deciding where to throw millions is repeated at Ipswich and Norwich (4). If we continue to see the game dominated by the size of benefactor’s wallets, we will end up with a very distorted football map.