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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 August 2012

Portsmouth fans fight to save Fratton Park

"We will never die!" was the chant which echoed down the line as fans marched to save Portsmouth football club from closure. With only days to go before the deadline for liquidation passes, the fans marched in hope that out of the club's crisis a historical opportunity for fan ownership could arise.

The club's administrator, Trevor Birch, claims that unless a buyer comes forward by 10 August Fratton Park will shut its doors and there will be no more football in the city. Currently there are two rival bids. One is from Portpin, run by former owner Balram Chanrai, who is seeking a repayment of his £19 million investment.

The other is from the Portsmouth Supporters' Trust, which this week announced its intention to table a £3 million bid, with a local businessman to be installed as a chairman, backed by a loan taken from the city council to purchase Fratton Park.

The trust propose a share scheme for fans, however the bid proposal claims that five 'fans' who have donated 'five figure sums' will become associate directors, while one 'fan', local businessman Iain McInnes, will become chairman by virtue of a 'six figure sum' investment.

Profit motive

The danger with such an approach is that it gives businessmen, who like previous owners will be interested by profit and a short-term return on their investment, a way to buy the club, under the banner of the trust, using supporters' money and a loan from the taxpayer!

While the crisis at Fratton Park does present a historic opportunity for fans to reclaim the game, it would be a mistake to simply hand control of the club from big business to small business! Rather than creating a board-in-waiting based on investment size, the trust should lay out a plan for full fan ownership and management.

The trust should be run democratically, with season ticket holders and trust members voting for the board. Trust meetings should be open to all fans who can participate in re-building the club, the team and the future of football in the city of Portsmouth.

Ben Norman

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In The Socialist 8 August 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Our health not their wealth!

End the insane cycle of youth joblessness

Council tax benefit cuts

March together on 20 October and then strike together to stop all cuts

Sean Rigg inquest: damning verdict for police

Gove sneaking unqualified teachers into academies

Them & Us


London Olympics

Views on the Olympics and the opening ceremony

Transport 'customer experience' staff still fighting for Olympics bonus


Socialist Party workplace news

Vote No in Unison's local government pension scheme ballot

Swansea DVLA staff protest at embarrassment of job cuts

Support Churchill cleaners, Tyne & Wear Metro

Workplace News in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Interview with Southampton rebel councillors

TUSC: Keeping up the pressure on the austerity parties

Socialist Students organise to fight fees and cuts

Workers win Wales Austerity Games despite bosses moving the goalposts!

Growing resistance to NHS cuts shown in Redditch

Portsmouth fans fight to save Fratton Park

Brighton pensioner jailed for non-payment of council tax

Welsh Labour: Red flag or white flag?

Obituary: Frank Mills, 1939 - 2012


International socialist news and analysis

Syria: Is there an alternative to the developing civil war?

Markets force savage austerity measures on Spanish workers

Trial resumes of Kazakhstan human rights activist


 

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