RICK JACKSON: We don't want our club to be played with like a toy
Please excuse me if I seem a little reluctant to believe that the former CEO of Walt Disney wants to buy Portsmouth FC.
Why would a 75-year-old billionaire from Hollywood be interested in taking over a football club in League Two?
Surely a Championship or lower Premier League side would seem more of an investment?
And if it does turn out to be true, would this not be a case of ‘here we go again’, with the club’s future back in the hands of the money men?
We’ve seen it all before, haven’t we? We were so excited back in 1999 when Milan Mandaric bought Pompey.
This proved to be the boost the club needed to wake it from the doldrums.
The story of various unpopular owners not investing in the club properly went back as far as the Second World War.
We’d gone from English champions to virtual bankruptcy in the 1970s and by the time the 1980s arrived, we found ourselves in Division Four, the bottom tier of the football league.
Slowly, we clawed our way back until Alan Ball got us promoted to Division One in 1987.
Even if it was for just one season, it really felt like this was where the club should be.
Milan’s investment in the club got us back to the promised land of the top tier in 2003 and what a dream it was.
The Gaydamak dynasty brought further investment and the FA Cup in 2008.
But after the money ran out, what seems today an unbelievable fall from grace ensued, with one unscrupulous owner after another pillaging the club until we now find ourselves in Division Two.
We may never see the Premier League again, but the club is now stable, repairing its reputation not only in the world of football, but in business too – and with the fans.
We don’t need another wealthy person to play with our club like a toy.
Players, managers, chairmen and owners come and go. The fans don’t.
Without a wealthy new owner, the climb up the leagues might be slow.
But it will be an honest one.
HOW CAN THIS KIND OF HOUSE PRICE INCREASE BE JUSTIFIED?
I keep hearing in the news that house prices keep on rising.
Once again, it’s getting ridiculous.
Many people are struggling to get on the property ladder or move up it.
Should we be taking a closer look at exactly how estate agents are valuing property?
I know a house will only sell for however much someone wants to spend, but agents seem to be fuelling this hike, with commission in mind.
A prime example is the house next to my father-in- law’s, which is identical to a house sold for £365,000 last summer.
The local agent is about to put this one on the market at £450,000.
How can this kind of increase be justified?
I REALLY SHOULD HAVE LEARNED TO RUN AT MY OWN PACE - SLOW
There is a lot of good camaraderie between us runners on the streets of Alverstoke these days.
Puffing and sweating away, listening to our iPods, we acknowledge each other with a dip of the head or a lift of the finger.
There can be a competitive edge too.
Being overtaken is never a good thing, but trying to keep up is even worse.
Being passed by a runner who looked a good 10 years older than me was all the incentive I needed to speed up.
Sadly, I couldn’t even keep up with them, let alone get past.
Ten minutes later, he was in the distance and I was in need of a defibrillator.
By now, I really should have learned to run at my own pace – slow!