Last week I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to interview former Charlton, Barnet, Reading and Portsmouth defender Linvoy Primus about the whole financial crisis going on at Portsmouth at the moment for my journalism coursework at college. And I thought why not upload a transcript of the whole thing, so without further ado, here it is
Me: I’m here with former Pompey player Linvoy Primus. Right, so first of all did you enjoy your time at Pompey?
Linvoy: Yea, I had as a player 10 great years in terms of what we achieved with the club, so for me it was probably my most successful and best time as a player and I then went on to have another couple of years as a club ambassador, which was good to see how the club runs and how they effect the community, so yea my time at Pompey was really good
Me: So you retired in 2009 and 2009 was obviously the year the club was hit with all the financial troubles and has the financial situation changed your opinion on the club at all?
Linvoy: Not the club itself I think it’s changed my thoughts on how clubs should operate in terms of the people that come into the clubs to manage and run the clubs should recognise the environment that they are taking the club over in and I think the area of Portsmouth is working class and there’s not a lot of money around so really the club being the beacon of the city the owners should recognise that the fans that they want to attract into the club are the younger fans and they should make it as accessible as possible for those children. But also on the back of that, you know the club itself hasn’t got a problem and I think it’s the people who run the club that have the problem, but still the football club is great and just the people that manage the club they’re the ones who have to answer the questions really
Me: Yea so do you think that the clubs financial problems has deterred players from joining Portsmouth over the past couple of years?
Linvoy: I think so, I think so, because everybody wants a bit of stability and I think if you read about the club, any football club about what’s going on off the pitch, that puts people off because that tells you that what’s going on on the pitch isn’t really significant because there is more stories about how the club is being run off the pitch. So I really believe that’s put a lot of people, a lot of players getting involved with the football club because they don’t know what their long term future will be.
Me: And also the wages could be a problem
Linvoy: Yea, yea without a doubt
Me: And do you believe that the current problem at Pompey could be repeated at any other English clubs in the near future?
Linvoy: I’d hope not, I really hope not but I’ve always said that Pompey are the example not to follow and I think clubs could be pretty close to it but you know, if they’ve got any business idea then they need to pull everything in very quickly and make sure they don’t follow the same example. Because the Pompey scenario came about because of an owner having his money frozen and the club couldn’t survive without his money and really clubs need to survive on the money they bring in and live to that. So going forward, if clubs have a budget that they stick to they will need to follow that budget quite tightly to avoid being in financial termoil
Me: And also as well as the financial troubles, Pompey have got a massive battle to try and find an owner. And I believe that it is going to be either the PST (Portsmouth Supporters Trust) or Portpin. But at this moment in time do you think it’s better for the club to keep going and suffering, or do you think it’s best for the club to die and then start again?
Linvoy: It’s a tough one and I’ve heard both sides of the argument and I still don’t know, I really don’t know because in my eyes the easy situation would be to start again and leave PFC and leave the stadium and everything like that and just go back into the lower divisions, so non-league and work your way back up, that’s the easy option. But I still think there is a lot more going on that doesn’t make it that easy and there is a few things playing out in the background but the fans will always be there even if we’re in the Isthmian League or whatever it is now, the fans will still go and follow and watch in their big big numbers. To keep the club going as it is obviously it saves a lot of restarting and everything like that, but you’ve got the hassle of where or who owns what part of the ground and I think everybody just wants to see clarity in all of it, and I’m the same. So I couldn’t tell you what the best option was. In my heart I still don’t know because I’ve heard both sides of story so I don’t think at the moment one’s better than the other
Me: So going back to the fans, what do you think of them on the whole?
Linvoy: They are one of the best in the country without a doubt, without a doubt. But even in the non-league Pompey will have one of the loudest and biggest support at every ground. The club itself is a beacon to the city and to the fans. But also within that there’s an old saying that I heard many many years ago when I first joined the club is that when the club sneezes, the whole city catches a cold because that’s the effect that the football has on the city
Me: And one final question now, if Pompey boss Guy Whittingham was to call you up tomorrow
Linvoy: (laughter) To get my boots on?
Me: (laughter) Yea
Linvoy: I would advise him not to call me because the shorts won’t fit me anymore but if he ever asked me I think he knows that the heart is willing, but the body’s not and I think even after the warm up they’d say Lin don’t do it, don’t do it you’ll do yourself damage but it would be great and I always think if there’s one more chance to play it would be lovely
Me: Thankyou for your time Linvoy it’s been a pleasure
I hope this interview has given you all an insight into what is currently happening at Pompey. If there’s anyone else who is or has been with Portsmouth that you would like me to try and get an interview with, then don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below
And finally, over the past couple of weeks I haven’t been able to post the Lunchtime Round-Up daily due to exams at college. But all should be back to normal again starting from tomorrow