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The Camden Cad
Aug 24, 2004
North London
I think it’s time to have a look at that Fit and Proper Persons test. The existing document focuses heavily on issues of past fraudulent behaviour, but that’s not good enough. Given everything that has happened at Portsmouth and the horrors that David Sullivan and David Gold have inherited at West Ham, it’s time to make the test a little more vocational.

Poor old Pompey were robbed of a point at Fratton Park this weekend, but that’s water off a duck’s back to their fans. To the Portsmouth faithful, and by God are they faithful, the knowledge that John Utaka is earning GBP80,000 a week is far more disappointing. According to reports, the club are spending GBP4.3m a month on wages with some of that going to players who no longer play for the club. Now, I’m no Donald Trump, but I’m fairly sure that if you’re going to bankrupt yourself on paying huge wages to footballers, you really should try to ensure that they’re actually your footballers. Let’s make that the first question in the test, eh?

Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie, a concrete variable in this equation of incompetence, may be doing his utmost to stave off the club’s impending extinction, but if he and the hordes of owners he has served hadn’t signed so many ludicrous contracts in the first place, they’d would be fine. A similar fate very nearly befell West Ham where CEO Scott Duxbury and the infamous Icelandics reigned over a period of fiscal insanity. Might I suggest adding a quick game of ‘The Price Is Right’ into the fit and proper examination?

Take a playboy midfielder with a history of bust-ups and booze. He’s had a succession of injuries, he’s fought with his own team-mate (who incidentally you signed last season) and he once refused to play on the wing for Sir Bobby Robson. Let’s call him Dieran Kyer. What kind of contract should he have? What’s that? Four years at GBP60,000 a week? The price is wrong! Get out, Eggert!

Just think of the misery that football fans could be spared if we can push this one through.