Referee Neil Swarbrick has come out and defended his decision saying it wasn’t made by him. Swarbrick, the veteran official which was chosen to referee the South Coast derby said that when he went across to speak to the linesman, who called the goal offside, he had the match director instructing him in the ear. He said that he was told “Give the goal, give the goal, it needs to be a win, give it”. He then passed the message on to the linesman, and then blew his whistle, and gestured the goal allowed, as Southampton fans became ecstatic with joy. Swarbrick has made it clear that he doesn’t feel responsible, as it wasn’t his decision, but it will be interesting to hear if the match director will make a comment on what is surely a breach of fair play football.
Portsmouth went on to equalise after a last minute screamer from David Norris, sending Portsmouth fans home with a well deserved point.
JD: Hello Linvoy, thanks for taking the time out to do an interview for us on Voice of Portsmouth. So, how did it come about with your move to Pompey?
Linvoy: My move to Pompey came about after I chose to leave Reading under the Bosman ruling and got a call from Tony Pulis to come along and have a trial.
JD: There was talk about you falling out with Graham Rix, is this true and can you say what this it was over?
Linvoy: I never knowingly fell out with Rixy, I was a bit annoyed when I got sent off and he accused me of costing them the game, even though everyone knew I didn’t hit or elbow the player.
JD: In your second season, there was tragic news of the death of Aaron Flahavan. How would you describe him? He was tipped to have a bright career after being the understudy to Alan Knight. It was also a proud moment for the club and his brother, Aaron when he signed for Pompey.
Linvoy: Aaron was a great character larger than life and when arrived I got on really well with as most of us did. He had great ability and I’m sure he would of graced us with years of good service. It was tragic when we heard the news that he had died and it brought us as a team and staff very close.
JD: Did you have any rituals before a game? Anything lucky?
Linvoy: I used to like doing things in an order so that while I was getting ready I was able to concentrate. I wouldn’t call it superstitious just knowing that that sort of preparation would allow me to focus. When I became a Christian I really liked praying with Mick Mellows (Former player and Christian) before games. I found I was able to give thanks for the gifts that God had given me and have real peace before I played. We still pray with players and staff now in Kev’s kit room.
JD: Heard ‘The King’ (Kanu) and John Utaka were fans of Take That – was it blasted around the dressing rooms before a game?
Linvoy: Not heard that one before about King and John maybe they played that in there hotel room on away trips because I don’t think the lads would allow any Take That tunes in the dressing room.
JD: A lot of the African lads were religious so I assume there was a lot of praying going on before a game?
Linvoy: As I mentioned above I used to pray with Mick Mellows and when other players arrived they knew I was a Christian So it was only natural that we would all pray together.
JD: You put in performances week in week out for Pompey, huge hit with the fans back then and still are now. There were even calls for ‘Linvoy for England’ Would you have considered a call up from the English national team or did your allegiance lay with Jamaica?
Linvoy: When I was 17 I got selected for England U18′s and I really enjoyed it but it never went any further. When I was 30 Jamaica enquired to see if I would like to represent them I said yes but never heard anything. They got back in touch 3 years later but I knew I wouldn’t be able cope with the travelling and playing and my performances for Pompey with good so I declined there offer as I didn’t want to jeopardise my place ( I had fought hard to get in didn’t want any excuse to be left out).
JD: I hear you knew Sol (Campbell) before when you were offered a trial with Newham District Schools under-11′s. So what was it like when the club signed him back in 2006?
Linvoy: I was really surprised when I saw Sol at the training ground and asked him if he was at the right place. He had just left Arsenal he had scored in the champions league final and I’m sure he had a pick of clubs he could go to. I think the Pompey air lured him in and I’m sure his time at the club will be fondly remembered because he led us to some amazing heights in football. Sol is a great guy,we have mutual friends and Sol is the same now as he was we when we were 12 years old. A good guy.
JD: You’re very passionate about christianity and doing charitable work, did you think ‘Faith and Football would have been as successful as it has?
Linvoy: I think Faith and Football was started at the right time in the right place with the right people. The 3 founders always had a passion to give something back and we used Our Faith with football to help young people to achieve and believe that they can achieve anything they want to. It’s nice that we do Educational programmes as well as football programmes because all these thing can build self worth.
JD: How have you been keeping since hanging your boots up?
Linvoy: I have been a lot busier but I always say its the good things I’m busy with and all enjoyable.
JD: How are you enjoying your role at the club?
Linvoy: The role at the club is very enjoyable because I’m able to bring the club back to community by working closely with key areas of the club to support the work that they are doing. The opportunity to get players involved with more appearances (Community,Commercial and other areas) is great. The opportunity to visit and be involved in many different things to help the community feel they are part of the club is good as I think as a football club we lost our way a little. The reward for all the hard work everyone has put in over the past 2 years has seen us pick up an award for Family club of the year. Which is a great achievement as your up against 71 other clubs.
JD: Obviously you are busy with your role as ‘Head of Club Liaison’ at the club, but have you considered going into management at anytime soon?
Linvoy: No managers job for me (I like my dreadlocks to stay black not go grey with stress). I believe you have to be passionate about anything you do and management has never appealed to me. I love what I do as I can help people.
JD: You have been a true servant to the club, and I for one was very disappointed when you were forced to retire. I was also delighted that you had a testimonial at Fratton Park, how was that for you?
Linvoy: That testimonial game was great and I’m forever greatful for the club for allowing me to have it. I donated to gate receipts to Faith and Football so that the work can continue to grow and move forward.
JD: What’s it like to have the Milton End named after you?
Linvoy: To have anything named after you is humbling but to have the stand named after me knocked me for 6. I’m still blown away when I see anything that reflects that it’s named THE LINVOY PRIMUS COMMUNITY STAND but now the screen is in the way the big picture of me won’t scare anyone anymore.
JD: I did an interview a while back with Darren Moore, he said you are both still good friends and a lifetime friendship. Would you say that sums it up?
Linvoy: Without a doubt we started playing around the same time our paths have crossed many times and we’ve been in the same team but our friendship is lifelong.
JD: Who was the best player you’ve ever played with?
Linvoy: All of them
JD: Who was the best manager you’ve ever played under?
Linvoy: Harry Redknapp
JD: Who do you still have regular contact with from your time as a player at Portsmouth?
Linvoy: Lee Bradbury, Darren Moore, Justin Edinburgh and Dave Waterman forgive me if I’ve forgotten anyone.
JD: Highlight of your career?
Linvoy: Promotion with Pompey to the Premier league
JD: Low-Point in your career?
Linvoy: Relegation from Championship with Reading as I played in most of those games
JD: Not sure if you can say too much on the current situation of the club at the moment, but if you can, feel free – I’m not going to push you for any answers.
Linvoy: Thanks can’t really comment
JD: Michael Appleton seems to be a big hit with the Pompey fans, what are your thoughts on him and the job he’s done – basically with his hands tied?
Linvoy: Appy has been amazing what a baptism of Fire, all I can say he has been an honest dignified man. He will have a great future in management.
JD: One word that describes the Pompey fans this season?
Linvoy: Supercalifragilisticexpialdosious not sure if thats right spelling
JD: Pompey have overcome the great escape before… But in my words, this will be the ‘greatest escape’ if we avoid relegation this season. Never say never with Pompey, ain’t that right?
Linvoy: This will be by far the best
JD: Final touches to this interview, are you willing to upload a photo of yourself holding a piece of paper saying ‘@V_of_P’?
Linvoy: I will try
Linvoy: Hope that’s ok, once it’s online let me know, keep up the good work.
JD: Linvoy, it’s been a pleasure. Thanks again!
Linvoy then e-mailed me a picture of himself with the ‘V of P’ sign. LEGEND!
It has been revealed in phone logs that Michael Appleton has made recent contact with former boss at West Brom, and now caretaker manager at Chelsea, Roberto Di Matteo. These conversations are thought to be regarding Portsmouth bringing in a striker on loan, to help with the limited squad numbers, and lack of goals in recent performances. The two Chelsea strikers that are not currently part of the first team plans at Chelsea, and deemed possible for loan is 18 year old Lucas Piazon, or 19 year old Marko Mitrovic. Piazon has only recently joined Chelsea, in the January transfer window, and signed a huge contract until 2017. He has made two appearances on the Chelsea bench, but yet to make his Premier League debut. Mitrovic is a product of Chelsea’s youth academy, and was promoted to the senior squad after an impressing season netting 16 goals in 29 games for the youth side.
It is suspected that any movement for a new striker will happen in the next 7 days, but Appleton may be keen on getting the new arrival before facing Brighton on Saturday.
Following Portsmouth FC entering administration, players are getting set to leave the club after administrator Trevor Birch asked players to take a wage deferral. He is also trying to get players off of the books until a new owner is found. Fan favourite Erik Huseklepp has left for Birmingham on a loan deal till the end of the season, and that could just be the beginning. Hayden Mullins is rumoured to be going to Reading, Tal Ben Haim could be set to go to Celtic, and Benjani has been linked with Bournemouth, all on loan deals to the end of the current season.
With these players leaving the club, the responsibility of wages falls on the clubs taking them on loan, therefore freeing up some of Portsmouth’s finances. It also means that Appleton, Birch and the Football League can work together to allow emergency loans to come into Portsmouth, with wages being paid by parent club.
Former owner Vladimir Antonov has laid down his intentions tonight, of returning to the ownership of Portsmouth FC, once his legal case is over, pending the final verdict. Antonov continues to plead his innocence whilst he fights extradition to Lithuania. He has also tried to keep fans informed through his personal facebook page, which has been verified with him personally when Express FM interview him in the summer. Antonov stated that after his legal trouble is over, and he is able to walk free, he will come back to Portsmouth to takeover the club once more. He also said that during that time, he will do whatever he can to help Portsmouth, and said that he will clear all debt Portsmouth could be set to owe parent company Convers Sports Initiative. Antonov made clear his passion for the club, and his faith in the upcoming verdict he will face, and has quite rightly been flooded with signs of support from Pompey fans.
Full transcript below:
Guys! If CSI creditors is a problem for PFC future, i can assure you that all of them will sign full write off their debt to ZERO to save our club. We never were a problem! We did our best to perform better! If you all think that we were a problem then my apologise to all and we are fully ready to convert our debt to an equity with ZERO financial interest! I can promise it as a biggest creditor to CSI! Play UP POMPEY!
This people just robbed me and my family! And i’m going to prove it! If i’ll get a compensation from them after legal battle i’ll invest to Pompey again! One way or another! Anyway Pompey in my heart forever! PUP!
A leaked email from the Football League to the Referee’s Association gives clear instruction to put Portsmouth at a disadvantage in matches, and favour there opponents. The Football League explained this was another way to punish the club for poor management as they enter administration. However the sanction the Football League takes on clubs entering administration is a 10 point deduction. This means that Football League are attempting to punish Portsmouth unfairly, and in such an unsporting manner it makes the league competition a disgrace. The Football League have declined to comment on this leaked email, and emails and email logs between the Football League and the Referee’s Association have all been deleted.
This is more than just an email however, as Portsmouth have been the victims of poor refereeing in recent matches, where a clear goal was ruled out against Ipswich. During the match with West Ham, they conceded a penalty under very unfair circumstances, and later had David Norris sent off for a clean tackle. It appears that not only have the Football League been instructing referee’s to be unfair on Pompey, they are carrying out orders without any questions asked.
After Portsmouth FC’s financial state was uncovered in more depth earlier today, Michael Appleton has put veteran striker Benjani on the transfer list. Andrew Andronikou, the administrator of Portsmouth’s former owners, who also has the job of finding new owners for the club, revealed the amount of unpaid tax over the last 2 months, amounting to £1.6m. This move from Appleton will hope to bring in some funds, and also help lower the wage bill for the club, with Benjani currently earning £12,000 a week. It is unknown if there is a club interested in taking on Benjani, or if a replacement for Benjani has been scouted by Appleton.
There has been an arson attack outside of the Cardiff City stadium, following Cardiff’s disgusting underserving win. One car has been set alight, whilst another is close to flames. Cardiff scrapes the barrel to beat Pompey 3-2, leading to both sets of supporters criticising the bluebirds. “It was disgusting, a shameful performance, makes a mockery of the game” said one Cardiff fan earlier. It is still unknown whether the attack was committed by an understandably furious Portsmouth fan, or an ashamed Cardiff fan. Police are reportedly at the scene, trying to control the damage.
Written by Josh Dyer
Rumours are abuzz right before kick off at Fratton Park against West Ham, of Hermann Hreidarsson’s departure. Many believe Hermann, 37, has left for Coventry on a loan deal for the remainder of the season, but no official confirmation has been made by club or player. Hermann who has missed most of the current season due to injury setbacks from the last season, could be looking for first team football, whilst boss Michael Appleton will be looking to bring in younger talent. Since the Football League has told Portsmouth they can only bring a player in as one leaves, this could open the door for Joe Mattock, who is still with parent club West Brom. Hermann is not on the bench for todays match against the Hammers, and has been replaced with promoted academy player Adam Webster, news that we broke exclusively on Voice of Portsmouth.
Written by Josh Dyer
Youth Academy starlet Adam Webster has been promoted to the Senior squad, after training with Michael Appleton’s boys for the last couple of weeks. Webster, who plays in at centre back was listed on the substitutes bench for the FA Cup Third Round tie with Chelsea. Webster may be a useful addition as Joe Mattock is still with West Brom, and Ricardo Rocha is still out with an injury. Appleton has always spoken about his desire for more young players from the Youth Academy to be integrated into the squad, as he time and time again says “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough”. It will be interested to see how much Webster will get of first team football.