Work still to be done for bright new era to truly begin

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After the misery of three relegations in four seasons – along with the genuine threat of liquidation – so much has been done in recent months to lift the gloom at Pompey.

But proof that there is still a long road ahead for the club to banish the unwanted legacy of past regimes once and for all has been highlighted by the staggering amount of money still owed to ex-players.

Through no fault of its own, the fans’-led Pompey Supporters’ Trust and the club’s board members have to stump up a total of £6.72m to 25 of the men who have had the star and crescent on their chests in recent years.

That is a result of two administrations in 2010 and 2012 which so nearly put the Blues out of business.

The players who have payments outstanding as part of compromise agreements will argue they deserve every penny after their contracts could not be honoured.

That may well be true. But sifting through the full breakdown of who is owed what – and how much – on page 7 today, brings into question more than ever how a proud club like Pompey was run.

Hassan Yebda, a midfielder who played 18 times for the club – the last of those appearances coming way back in 2010 – is still owed around £240,000.

And then there is the £1.6m the club have had to find as of May this year to finally forget about Tal Ben Haim.

One of the saddest parts of this sorry tale is that, while the players have to be paid their compromise agreements in full, local businesses also owed money by Pompey will get only a small proportion of what should be coming to them.

Fortunately, the Blues’ new owners have vowed to pay creditors from the 2012 administration, who are owed £2,500 or less, every penny of their debt.

It’s the kind of promise you know can be trusted under the current regime.

But until debts of old are paid off, the bright, new era for the largest fan-owned club in the UK will continue to be hampered by the past.