Gold praying for Pompey woe

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have brought a winding-up order

against Portsmouth and a final hearing before a judge over a

£12.1million unpaid tax bill has been scheduled for March 1.

While administration and a subsequent nine-point deduction remains

the most likely outcome for Pompey, the prospect of the club going

into liquidation still looms as HMRC claim they are trading while

insolvent. Gold bought West Ham last month along with his former

Birmingham co-owner David Sullivan, and if Portsmouth go out of

business all their results from this season would become void. The

consequence for West Ham in that eventuality would be that they

would lose the four points they have gained against Avram Grant’s

side, dropping them even deeper into a relegation battle. Gold has

offered to lend Portsmouth £10million in order to keep them

afloat, but he admits that proposal is motivated purely by

self-interest. “Everyone here is hoping they get relegated,” said

Gold. “It is human nature, we want three clubs relegated. If

Portsmouth are one of them, we will cheer them all the way to the

Championship – that’s what we do for a living. “We don’t want them

to go bust, we want them to go into administration. It will be sad

for their fans, but it will not destroy them. “I’ve got to be

honest [the four points] is the driving motive but I also think we

owe it to them. The Premier League is made up of 20 football clubs,

not 19. “Each of us have an obligation, not to save them from their

stupidity, but to make sure we save them from going bust. “I want

them to get relegated. I want them to go into administration, but I

will be mortified if they go bust. Is it because I’m driven by the

four points it would mean to West Ham? Yes.” West Ham currently sit

15th in the Premier League, just one point above the bottom three

despite their 2-0 win over Birmingham on February 10, their first

victory since Boxing Day. on Saturday they entertain fellow

strugglers Hull in a game Gold admits is important to the club’s

survival this season. “We have got our first win under our belts

and now have the chance to get back-to-back wins for the first time

in the season,” he added. “We feel that Hull is a winnable game and

it would be fantastic to beat them. “We are in a mess, a proper

relegation battle and if we can get out of the relegation zone,

then we can start properly planning for the future of West Ham.”