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According to BBC Football this morning, Portsmouth goalkeeper David James says victory in the 2008 FA Cup final set the club on the road to financial ruin.
“It has had a terrible effect on the club over arguably the last 18 months,” said James, whose side face Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday.
“Qualifying for Europe was financially and physically damaging for the club.”
Does James therefore not want to win the FA Cup again? Or is this all an elaborate rouse to say “we never wanted to win it anyway” when they get kicked out…or is it even mind games, a double bluff to make Spurs want to lose?
Read the full article after the jump.
Source: BBC Sport
Portsmouth, who appointed David Lampitt as its new chief executive on Friday, went into administration in February with debts of over £60m.
Two years ago, Harry Redknapp delivered Portsmouth’s first FA Cup success since 1939 with victory over Cardiff at Wembley.
But with several players collecting bonuses for their success, James says the Cup victory began the process of financial meltdown.
“To offer people the opportunity of big bonuses to qualify for Europe seems like a pretty safe bet, simply because you do not anticipate a club like Portsmouth winning the Cup,” said James.
“Had we not won the FA Cup, bizarrely it would probably have done us a lot better, because we would not have qualified for Europe and would have been able to build on two decent years of progression.
“Having won the cup, the financial impact was crippling and then as a squad we just were not kitted out to be able to sustain the European, as well as league and cup campaigns which followed.
“We ended up suffering on both fronts.”
Despite his misgivings about the 2008 Cup success, James is relishing the prospect of taking on Spurs at Wembley.
“Winning the FA Cup on its own was a tremendous achievement,” he added.
“This year we have got a semi-final against decent opposition, and if we can give ourselves a chance of winning the cup again, that would not be for the lure of getting into Europe – it would be winning another trophy for Portsmouth.”
If Pompey do make the final, they may have to do without several of their players, who will be making their final appearances for the club in the semi-final because of expensive trigger clauses in their contracts.
Administrator Andrew Andronikou has revealed that “five or six players” would be eligible for bullet payments if they played another game.
These could be cash payments of up to £100,000 or the guarantee of a contract renewal for next season.
“These bullet payments mean that they can play in the semi-final, but not play another game after it, unless they waiver those payments,” said Andronikou.
“That would be tragic for the player if the team is in the FA Cup final, but it will be the players’, or their agents’, decisions. They are going to have to forfeit those contractual obligations or they cannot play again.
“As the club is in administration and as the administrator, I am not in a position to allow these payments or indeed to allow the players to automatically renew their contracts for next season.”
Meanwhile the club announced on Friday that Lampitt, the Football Association’s head of football integrity, would be replacing Peter Storrie, who stepped down on 12 March.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to take up this new challenge with Portsmouth,” he told the club’s website.
“The club has been through some tough times this season and I intend to bring some stability and transparency to operations.
“Pompey have some of the best fans in the country and they deserve their great support to be matched by equally high standards of governance at the club.”
Lampitt, a qualified chartered accountant, will take up the post once his period of notice has been agreed with the FA.
Portsmouth are 14 points from safety with five league games remaining
FA chairman Lord Triesman said: “David Lampitt has been with the FA for six years and has made an outstanding contribution to our regulatory obligations.
“It is a great tribute to him that one of our oldest and most famous clubs should look to his expertise and personal character to bring it through a time of great difficulty.
“Portsmouth’s fans should take comfort in a wise long-sighted appointment, and I wish David every success.”
Pompey are on the brink of relegation to the Championship, having been deducted nine points on 17 March for going into administration.
Andronikou was appointed on 26 February with the aim of cutting costs and finding a buyer for the Hampshire team, currently owned by Hong Kong businessman Balram Chainrai, who took control in early February.