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Pompey fans march over debt

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Hundreds of Pompey fans are expected to rally behind a fans’ protest initiative ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round tie with Sunderland to help save Portsmouth FC.

Fans are being asked to march, rally and then sign a petition calling on the clubs’ current owners to sort out the financial mess at Fratton Park. The petition, which can be signed by all fans on Saturday, will be handed in by a group of young Pompey fans ahead of the match.

And if the current owners are unable to come up with the finance needed, then fans are urging the present owners to sell up to someone who can.

With a winding up petition hanging over the club over unpaid tax debts, a transfer embargo in place and the salaries not paid on time two months out of the past three, fans have had enough.

A march is planned from the Guildhall Square at 12.45pm. Those fans will meet with another group rallying at Milton Park from 1.15pm. Once united, fans will then march to Fratton Park at 2pm, where a petition is set to be presented to the club by a group of young supporters, representing the future of the club.

The idea for two marches is that older fans with ageing, creaking limbs – and David James – can take part in the shorter march while the young whippersnappers can walk for an extra half hour.

“We are making our voices heard telling those in charge you can try and kill our club but you cannot kill our spirit. The protest also points out to any potential investor who may be waiting in the wings that there is no lack of passion with the fans,” said spokesman Bob Beech.

John PFC Westwood added: “We want to show everyone that fans are united behind this protest. We urge all fans to march, rally or sign this petition.

“We are not against the new owner for the sake of it. If Ali Al Faraj can show he has the finance to take the club forward we would welcome it, but if he hasn’t he should step aside and allow someone who has to take over.”

For further details email the FSF’s Ken Malley.

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball
  • SD Europe