Relegation’s inevitable, now it’s about going down fighting

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STEVE CANAVAN: The case of the 'kitchen' door is open and shut

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Pompey will get relegated this season.

Now it’s about the style in which they go down. And at the moment it’s not looking too clever on that front.

No training ground, no players and fans on the verge of civil war, as the club teeters on the brink of being brought to its knees.

And where does it end? What’s next to be axed? When are the next round of job losses going to hit home?

They are the very real fears today with any further cuts to the club’s structure akin to turning off the life support to a traumatised victim in a coma.

It all adds up to the latest chapter in an unrelenting royal blue tale of woe.

The question now being asked is: At what stage does a football club stop being a football club?

Events of recent days have now removed any facade of Pompey being perceived as a functioning professional outfit.

Staff have battled to maintain some semblance of normality in a situation which is anything but.

Yesterday’s creditors’ meeting undoubtedly has played a part in the latest round of swingeing cost-cutting, as PKF’s administration approaches the 12-month mark.

After that period, the administrators have to ask creditors for consent to prolong their stay or ask court for an extension.

Of course, we know Portpin are the creditors who hold greatest sway with the £18.6m they are said to be owed – and consequently flex the most muscle.

The fallout is Pompey will lose the training ground at the end of the month in another money-saving exercise.

A long-mooted return to the city from their rented Eastleigh base will take place but the news their preferred site at University of Portsmouth’s Langstone Campus is not available is a blow.

Other options are being considered but using Fratton Park in the mean time is a far from ideal scenario.

Yes, it will be great to have the football club back within the confines of Portsmouth island, but the manner in which it’s being played out is chaotic.

And then there is Monday’s news of a quintet of players departing from an already depleted squad.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing’s loan exit on top of the departures of Jon Harley, Brian Howard, Lee Williamson and Mustapha Dumbuya emaciates a seriously under-nourished roster still further.

And to think Harry Redknapp talked about bare bones. The internet wags who suggested it looked like caretaker duo Guy Whittingham and Andy Awford were playing their fantasy football wildcard weren’t too far wide of the mark.

Of all the depressing events to take place in recent times, that development feels like the easiest to swallow, however.

The removal of top wage-earners like Williamson and Howard who have failed to deliver performances their talent merits, albeit in unsettled confines, is unsurprising.

There’s also the fact that, given the circumstances Whittingham and Awford are operating in, it’s simply impossible to expect Pompey to remain in League One.

Those exits and turning to youngsters clearly not ready for what they will face in England’s third tier is the final nail in the survival fight coffin.

These events create an environment which is morale-sapping to the nth degree for the staff left standing at the club.

Even the most optimistic of star and crescent souls have now been battered into submission. And witnessing that is worse than inevitable relegation.

Just as depressing is seeing the division among supporters so adept at delivering a passionate united front.

Frustrations have boiled over out there in the twittersphere, with bickering and rancour mounting.

It’s a depressing state of affairs but to see it spill over in the stands against Notts County on Saturday would represent a new low.

That isn’t the Pompey way. If the Blues are going down it needs to be with everyone stood fighting shoulder to shoulder.