Poor Portsmouth?

Last updated : 14 April 2010 By Les Roberts
 It appears that they've been given the sympathy vote because of their current plight but why is this? 
 David Moyes has come out and stated that he feels that Portsmouth shouldn't be given another chance to apply for Europe, which, on the face of it, was a pretty stupid thing to do the headlines were always going to be that Moyes has said that Portsmouth shouldn't be allowed into the Eurpoa League. 
 Which makes it sound like sour grapes on Everton's part or a desperate attempt to have spot allocated to qualification from the FA Cup transferred to seventh in the league - a position very attainable by the Blues. 
 But his comments are far more balanced and few could argue with what he has to say. Moyes said: “Portsmouth, in their own right, if they earn it they deserve it. But if you don’t apply to go into it and don’t do the right things, then you can’t expect to be in there."
 He added: “I have sympathy with the situation the club are in, and what Avram’s done getting them to the Cup final is nothing short of miraculous under the circumstances.
 “You’d have to ask why Portsmouth didn’t apply. Did they not apply because they didn’t think they were going to make it? Then maybe they don’t deserve to win the appeal as they didn’t believe enough in their team.
 “Did they not apply because they had done it late or not had the right people in place? Then that’s a mistake internally and they have to abide by the rules like everybody else. 
 “I do feel sympathy, though, for a club that gets that far and cannot get into Europe.” 
 And it does beg the question as to why Portsmouth are being allowed to apply for Europe though they've missed the deadline.
 It appears that there's a lot of sympathy for the club at the minute because they've been so appallingly run and have been relegated. 
 But, whilst I feel every sympathy with the fans and players - well as much sympathy as you can feel for Portsmouth fans and professional footballers - they've missed the deadline and that should be the end of it. 
 Everton have fallen foul of such rulings over the years, the most obvious example being in missing out on a UEFA Cup spot in 1996/97 because other English teams had fielded weakened sides in the inaugural Intertoto Cup. 
 And even as recently as this season the Blues were not allowed play John Heitinga or Lucas Neill in the Europa League as Heitinga was inexplicably cup tied from a Champions League match he'd played and Neill was signed after the European registration deadline. 
 Yet no special dispensation was given to Everton even in light of the crippling injury list that meant for the opening games at least, we had to play a back for consisting almost enitrely of full backs! 
 Now I understand that the two situations regarding Everton are in no way similar to the Portsmouth predicament, and I don't for one minute think that Everton should have been given any special treatment but, the dealines are there for a reason and if you miss the deadline it's tough luck really.
 It's terrible what has gone on at Portsmouth and such financial mismanagement needs to be eradicated from the game as much as cheating on the pitch but the amount of coverage given to the South coast club's problems has been completely disproportionate.
And this is purely because they're a Premier League club. 
 Football League clubs have been going into administration for years - and some of them bigger names than Portsmouth - but this is seemingly taken for granted these days. 
 And what sort of national coverage was given to Chester City as they were allowed to go to the wall? 
 This isn't sour grapes and I would never want Everton to qualify for Europe by some technicality - the UEFA FAir Play league included - but the whole situation stinks of more Premier League hyperbole.
 And I think just about everyone, Portsmouth fans included, are sick of that!