Saints & Pompey: A Fine Line Between Love & Hate

As Pompey got what was in my opinion, a fantastic result for them in the courtrooms of London yesterday, there was a certain case of mixed feelings from the fans on both sides of Hampshire.

Pompey could have left their administration hearing yesterday, either facing a winding up order on Monday or yet again in the hands of Balram Chanrai’s financial puppet Andrew Andronikou, but they didn’t. The judge’s decision to appoint an independent administrator can only be good news, and a spell in administration and a ten point deduction has to have been the best possible outcome.

The reaction from fans was as expected. The sensible skates knew they had come out bruised but breathing, others were still bemoaning the points deduction (which fans of Leeds, Bournemouth and Luton may be thinking was actually very lenient).

On the red side of Hampshire it was a mixture of mockery and in my opinion misplaced disappointment.

I am a Saints fan, and by default I want Pompey as a football club to suffer in every way imaginable, but to want them to die is incomprehensible to me. A true sadist wants to see the infliction of pain not death. In an ideal world, this bout of administration will see them slide into League One and footballing obscurity. But to disappear completely? No thanks.

Derby Day. Nothing quite like it.

In my relatively short time as a fan of Saints, I am on the cusp of seeing a full 360 circle in fortunes of my two “local” professional clubs. Isn’t that the beauty of rivalry? I have taken as much stick as I have given out. I have seen us within touching distance of the top and at rock bottom, likewise I have seen both of these situations for our poor relations down the road, and often when one is experiencing the ultimate highs, the other is having their major lows. I have argued passionately with Pompey fans I consider friends and I have laughed and joked with them over a beer about the often ridiculous goings on at our respective loves.

Don’t get me wrong, it took me all of about 30 seconds after the administration announcement to text my skate mates “Now you have been in administration three times, do you get to keep it?”

In fact I was pretty proud of myself that I managed to avoid the ridiculously overused:- Sunny in [Insert Home Town], -10 in [Insert recently placed into admin Rival]

Where would we be without this?

No matter how much success either club has, no matter what trophies they win or how many times they are relegated. Two things will remain constant for both. The fans and each other. We will still hate them, and they will still hate us.

We may be a far cry from 1939 and the Pompey players parading the FA Cup at the Dell to rapturous applause, but I would like to think we haven’t reached such depths of hatred that either group of fans would hope to never see the other again. Besides there is a very thin line between hate and love.

Due to our recent ascendancy it is perhaps easy to forget that we have been in this position ourselves, and while it might not have been to the level of destruction that has happened at Fratton over the past couple of years, it also came down to the financial mis-dealings of dodgy owners.

The problem in these situation is, that the fans will always be the victims, for us it was at the hands of an upper class English hockey fan, while for Pompey it has come at the hands of a string of mysterious foreigners. Either way in no way were any of these people fans of the clubs themselves and the situation both clubs found themselves in could easily happen to anyone.

Saints and Pompey are enemies but they are enemies with a mutual interest, like a bickering married couple who were once in love but lost their way and now have irreconcilable differences, neither quite able to shake the other one off. Mainly because they don’t really want to. Each flirting with other women (Bournemouth, Brighton etc.) but never quite getting that same undeniable high you get in each others presence.

When routine bites hard,
And ambitions are low,
And resentment rides high,
But emotions won’t grow,
And we’re changing our ways,
Taking different roads,

Love, Love will tear us apart. Again.

Come the summer we will be shortly and temporarily reunited in support of the Hampshire cricket team, and the England national team at Euro 2012, although the almost certain appointment of a mutual former manager may see us reconciled in our opinions even more fervently on that note!

Who is Sherlock Holmes without Professor Moriarty? Be careful what you wish for.

See you on the 7th April.

Chris

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11 thoughts on “Saints & Pompey: A Fine Line Between Love & Hate

  1. Very well balanced comment, and very similar to my own thoughts when the tables were the other way around a few years back.

  2. As a pompey fan of over 40 years, I think your article is excellent, I have many friends who are Saints fans, and would agree with you.

  3. As a die hard Pompey (call me a skate if u need to…..wots in a swear word or name call…nothing) fan, I applaud you on an excellent article and yes recognise this is your teams time for some glory limelight. We will be back and lets hope at some time both in the top tier, where the south coast belongs….Tony PUP

  4. Been a Pompey fan for longer than I care to remember. Pompey without “you lot” is like salt without pepper. A match made in heaven and hell 🙂 It would be a pretty dull world if we were all the same. Will be quite open and honest and say that I’ve been impressed by your comeback from the depths, it shows what can be done. We just need a decent, honest owner who has the clubs best interests at heart. No more crooks and chancers. Good luck with the rest of your season…

  5. Very good – I feel the same. And I agree that it could happen to anyone – who will buy Southampton next! Southampton will be sold one day … maybe soon! And, as a Portsmouth fan, I am happy to see Pompey win in L1 and Saints loosing in the Prem!

  6. A well considered and amusing article. Looking forward to the bubble trip. Like the idea that we can keep tha administration 3 times in. A Pompey fan and a Joy Division fan

  7. They told me as a saints fan that they hated and despised me!they are genuinely a shit club that deserves far more than is coming to them.

  8. You would be amazed at the vitriol hatred from some of the die hard Pompey fans I know towards Southampton fans and vice versa.
    Pompey v Scum ( I’m sorry, I mean Southampton), is rated one of the top 20 derby’s in the world for atmosphere and intensity.
    Players of both teams admit that it’s up there with the ferocity of any UK derby match.
    Most fans don’t even know where the intensity and hatred comes from, it’s nothing to even do with football, it’s from the dockyard strikes of the 60’s, when bus loads of workers were brought over from Southampton to break the Portsmouth dockyard strike. Hence why it’s more common for Pompey fans to refer to Southampton as Scum or Scummers!
    Football isn’t a sport anymore, it’s an opportunity for owners to become famous and it’s business.
    When you see a club with the fan base of Glasgow Rangers (75,000) then you know there are major problems.
    Bolton are £120 million in debt, if they go down then they will be strait into administration. The total debt held by Premier League clubs has exceeded £1 billion this year, did anybody else notice the quietest Janaury transfer window in Premier League history.
    Southampton have a great chance of promotion this year, however, I personally think they’ll blow it, Pompey will stay up (just) and there’ll be two more derby’s to look forward to next season!!!

  9. Great article Chris

    Nice to see some sensible Pompey fans commenting. I genuinely feel sorry for their average fan as they don’t deserve this, however Pompey surely have to realise the club deserve their punishment.

    With regards to the docker strike referred to above, that story is a load of crap!! It never happened.

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