Primus on Pompey
Linvoy Primus gave a frank assessment of Portsmouth's problems on Goals on Sunday.
Last Updated: 05/09/10 5:31pm
Portsmouth legend Linvoy Primus says the club are in a healthier position now than they were a year ago.
But he admits there is still a lot of resentment and anger over the way the club's financial affairs have been handled in recent seasons.
Speaking in the Goals on Sunday studio, Primus said the club have been able to take stock following their relegation to the Championship after a period of financial turmoil.
A Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) was agreed with creditors in the close season and the club moved out of administration, but several local businesses have been left out of pocket.
And while Primus is pleased the club is still in business, he says it is still unclear who should be blamed for Pompey's financial meltdown.
"Where the club are now is far better than where they were last season, Primus explained.
"Getting relegated from the Premier League isn't an ideal thing, but it's cleared a lot of things out and has allowed the club to see what the problems are and deal with it.
"The thing that hurts a lot of people is that local fans who have supported the club have been hurt by it financially, their businesses have suffered.
"The club have moved out of the CVA and have agreed their 20p in the pound, but real supporters have been hurt by it.
"So much [money] has come in with players and transfers, but it's all come out the pot. Where has it gone?
"There's no one person you can point to and say 'it's their fault' and I think in time it will come out. At the moment there's still investigations going on."
Primus retired from football in 2009 after nine years at Portsmouth, but remained at the club in an ambassadorial role.
And he says it was tough for the players when Portsmouth's financial problems hit the headlines last season.
The players received their wages late on a number of occasions and despite the arrival of a number of new owners, the club were unable to avoid going into administration.
And Primus says that destroyed the trust between the playing staff and the boardroom.
He continued: "Most of the players have gone now, but at the time it was unbelievable. No-one could really believe it was actually happening; it was a shock for everyone.
"As players you deal with what's going on at the training ground and on the pitch. So when the stories start coming out you think there's not much in it and things will calm down.
"Then every time there was a headline it was Pompey. Players were getting a little bit more concerned. Then there was the stuff with the wages not being paid on time and you start to realise it's a big problem.
"What the fans, players and staff are fed up of was people coming in and saying: 'We're definitely making a change' - and then the same thing would happen.
"The trust had gone."
Steve Cotterill has been tasked with managing the club in the Championship and has found it tough so far.
The club are bottom of the table, having only picked up one point from their first four games, and in several matches Cotterill has only been able to name four substitutes, rather than the allotted seven.
Primus applauded Cotterill for his enthusiastic approach to a difficult job and insists the fact that the club is still in existence is a cause for celebration,
"He's doing okay," Primus said of Cotterill.
"At the start of the season I think he only had 10 players registered to the club and you can't go out and buy players if you owe people money.
"He finds himself only able to name four players on the bench - and one of those is a goalkeeper - so you can't make a change.
"The players we've got playing are doing really well, but after two games in a week they'll be leggy by the third game on a Saturday.
"He's got a good, upbeat mentality and he's really enthusiastic, but at times you can see even he's getting drawn by it.
"He wants to make good decisions for the team that can't be made because of the situation he's in.
"We'll be alright and the good thing is the club is still there. Players come and go, managers come and go, staff come and go, but the club and the supporters will always be there."