EPL Puts Portsmouth In Deep Freeze

January 13, 2010 – 1:20 pm by Matthew Glenesk

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English Premier League club Portsmouth F.C. is in financial crisis. It can’t pay its players nor its creditors

On Tuesday, the EPL placed Portsmouth on a transfer embargo for being unable to pay off debts owed on prior transfers. This all the while being owned by billionaire oil-rich Saudis, who claim to have poured millions into the club.

Ahmed Al-Faraj says his brother, the team’s owner Ali, has spent $65 million on the team, while only recouping $21 million in revenue. Yeesh. No wonder I can expect gas to spike to $4 a gallon this summer. These sheiks are just trying to recover their “toy losses.”

The club sits last in the table, and relegation would cost the club its share of the $1.47 billion windfall Premier League teams get through TV revenue. That’s right, billion.

But an unusually severe winter blast has hit England the last two weeks and games across the island have been canceled because of snow and poor field conditions.

Portsmouth can’t afford to take a day off. But apparently, they can’t afford to pay a grounds crew either.

On Tuesday, the club asked for volunteers to help shovel snow from the pitch, so Saturday’s game against Birmingham could go ahead as planned. 

More than 500 fans showed up with shovels and wheelbarrows at 8 a.m. and got to it. The work was finished in half the time as expected. As Sky Sports put it, “if the players can match the work rate and enthusiasm of the supporters the three points may well be in the bag.”

I’ll tell you what’s not in the bag. Cash.

All who helped were given two tickets to the game.

I just spent 30 minutes shoveling my sidewalk. And I won’t be volunteering for any such work any time soon.

Especially for tickets to sit in the cold and root for a last place team. Stupid, naive English.

*Sidenote: Phillips posts pictures of hot sports wives and I bring you this guy? I apologize. Give it a day, hot chicks will be back.

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