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Day: October 18, 2012

Hear that Chainrai? That is the sound of the good guy winning – now sling your hook

There is only one thing in my world that is more depressing than my private life and that is the very public farce that has become Portsmouth Football Club. The club that I have supported since I was knee high to a grasshopper has been dragged through the mill by a series of shall we say less than squeaky clean owners and that is probably the best thing I can say about them. Carisbrooke High School’s best investigative journalist – or man with a bone attached to the dodgy ones and wouldn’t let go of them Mike Hall has been absolutely crushing the former owners and his hard work has paid of and the administrators have today decided that Portpin are not their preferred bidders any more and the Portsmouth Supporters Trust are.

The people behind the Portsmouth Supporters Trust have done so much against such long odds. The Pompey fanbase was never fractured but they were (and I was without a doubt) at the point where I could see no light at the end of the tunnel. I thought that Chainrai would get his hands on the club again and once more attempt to asset strip it to get his money back – or to make more money at the expense of the beleaguered old club.

However these people saw light and had hope and belief where I had none. The hard work of the likes of Ashley Brown, Mick Williams, Scott McLachlan, Colin Farmery and many others should now go down in history of the club. Obviously this is not a victory that will change everything but it does mean that there is now real hope that we have reached that horrific rock bottom and that the club can now move onwards and upwards.

Like many Pompey fans I am sceptical how the PST will work but they were without even a shadow of a doubt the only people I wanted in charge as they were the only people who I genuinely believed would have the clubs interests at its heart. I don’t care too much about winning and losing any more – at the age of 29 I have mellowed and a bad result doesn’t ruin my weekend but I do care about getting all the shady characters out and most importantly being proud of the club once more.

How many Pompey fans have had people feeling apologetic towards them when they are introduced as a Pompey fan? Back in the day Pompey were known for their passionate fans who would travel the country in vast numbers, be extremely vocal and were one of the few places in the country where you would only see local club shirts being worn up and down the high street. If you were a Pompey boy or girl then you would become a Pompey fan, not Manchester United, not Liverpool, not Arsenal, you’d be Pompey. That has changed after a succession of shady owners who didn’t care about either the club or the community.

I hope that the PST seals the deal and first thing first installs the club into the heart of the community once more. The club needs the next generation of fans to flourish and at the moment that next generation are not as passionate as I was as a kid nor how many adult fans were. If the PST can more more make the club one with the city and the community that surrounds it then all the other problems will be fixed. That in my opinion is priority number one and success there will lead to success everywhere else.

This is a good day to be a Pompey fan. Quite possibly the best day I’ve known and yes I was at Wembley and saw us win the FA Cup in 2008. That was good but a chance for the club to get back to its roots and flourish from a financially sustainable standpoint? The grown up me says that is a far better day.

Oh and as for Balram Chainrai. The airport is that way. I’m sure there will be plenty of locals who would be more than happy to taxi you there and even not charge you for the experience…

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Support for an independent Scotland falls 5% since June

The Scots will get a say whether or not they want to leave the union and go it alone but polling out today from our friends at Ipsos Mori hints that despite being the most popular leader and leading the most popular party it isn’t looking good for Alex Salmond as support for an independent Scotland has fallen by 5% since the last time the company conducted a similar survey in June.

58% of those polled said that they preferred to stay in union – up 3% from June with those who wanted to leave down 5% to 30%. The undecided’s moved up 2% to 12%.

However it isn’t all bad news for Alex as 50% of those polled said they were satisfied or better with his performance for a net +10% overall rating. The plan though seems to be clear as the only other major party that will be campaigning for an independent Scotland is the Green party and their leader is the second most popular with an overall +6% positive about his performance. However alarming this is down 6% from June where both Patrick Harvie and Alex Salmond had sky high approval ratings of +12% and +13% respectively.

The other three parties are unsurprisingly going along the lines seen elsewhere across the UK with Labour being beloved and the Tories and the Lib Dems looking down instead of looking up. Labour though are the party on the move as net satisfaction of the Scottish Labour leadership has steadily increased since the start of the year when Johann Lamont took charge and the public according to this poll believe that she is doing a very admirable job.

So things aren’t looking great for Alex Salmond as he starts this campaign to leave the United Kingdom but 24 months is a long time in politics and a lot could change. If he is to be victorious he needs to convince Scots that they’ll be better off away from Westminster. I think it is fair to say the fact it is a straight Yes/No vote hurts the SNP as most Scots like the safety net of Westminster but would like more devolved powers. Without that safety net would Scots really be better going it alone?

That is what he’ll have to convince them of but the early polling suggests that it’ll be an uphill battle for the SNP leader.

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