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THE OFFICIAL DIGITAL MAGAZINE OF PORTSMOUTH FOOTBALL CLUB

HEAVEN’SLIGHT FRATTON ARTS PROJECT / OUT OF THE SHADOWS - TRACEY MITCHELL INTERVIEW

STAKEHOLDER INTERVIEW - ADAM BLACKMORE / BUNKY WRITES / AROUND POMPEY PHOTOS

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CONTENTS 05 Edspace 07 Community Arts 11

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Adam Blackmore

16 England Women 20 Around Pompey Photos 22 Dave ‘Bunky” Bowers 25 Out of the Shadows

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EDSPACE WE MAY HAVE AN OLD STADIUM BUT THERE IS NOTHING OUTDATED ABOUT THE NEW POMPEY } Welcome to this, the inaugural issue of Heaven’s Light. This magazine aims to be very different from the normal club magazine. Heaven’s Light Our Guide is the motto of the City of Portsmouth, and it harks back to the days when sailors were guided by the light from the (crescent) moon and star(s). The magazine aims to shine light on the club, at the parts you don’t see so easily from the outside. Transparency is very important to us and we intend to fulfill our transparency agenda. Heaven’s Light is also a big step forward in our digital agenda, which is helping to show the club to the world in a new light. Suddenly, we are seen as a club that innovates at the cutting edge and focuses on quality. Our match day programme is widely regarded as the best we have ever produced, with augmented reality content, perfect binding, kids cartoons and – most importantly, it makes a profit for the first time in a long time. Our website is now incredibly popular, with more than 28 million page impressions in three months. We have implemented a new ticketing system which offers users the chance to buy tickets via Facebook. Now we have this informative magazine which, being 100 per cent digital, is environmentally friendly, high quality and entirely free to you. How cool is that? We may have an old stadium but there is nothing outdated about the new Pompey. Portsmouth Football Club is owned by the best fans in the world, and nothing but the best is good enough. We hope you enjoy this pilot edition of our magazine. Yours in Pompey, Micah Hall Guy

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THE FRATTON PARK COMMUNITY ARTS PARTNERSHIP } With the new season approaching the Portsmouth Supporters’ Trust (PST) and Pompey were looking at replacing many of the old and outdated pieces of artwork at Fratton Park. The club partnered up with Pompey 12thMan and Strong Island Community with the aim to work on an ongoing arts project over the length of the season. The aim is to work with local artists, illustrators, designers and photographers, to engage with Pompey’s 12thMan and supporters to dramatically improve the artwork in and around the stadium. The first phase of the project was to work with Bruce Jamieson, Matt Howarth and Johnny Winslade from Portsmouth design company ilovedust, all long time supporters of the club and part of an innovative design company that is world renowned for their work with clients such as Nike, Red Bull, Coca Cola, MTV and more. Three large murals have been created, two at the entrances to the Fratton End and one in the North Stand. Quotes and stats feature alongside iconic players, illustrated in a style that allows the club’s glorious past to shine within the setting of its exciting new chapter. ilovedust will be involved more in the project as a whole moving forward. Another phase of the partnership will be creating Pompey Supporters

Walls in all of the stands that we hope will tell the story of the first season of community ownership as told by the fans themselves. Over the 2013/14 season we will be running ‘We Are Pompey’, asking fans to post up photos via social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc) and tag them with the hashtag #WeArePompey, these photos at the end of the season will all be collected together and displayed in large wall murals around the ground, creating artwork by the fans, for the fans, that also documents the first season of a new era for the club. There will also be a dedicated email address for those who wish to send pictures. Further phases of the partnership project will be rolled out during the season and will involve many famous local artists and also work with young people, so expect to see fresh new Pompey artwork in all the stands in the coming weeks and months. Funding for the project has come from the PST, Pompey’s 12thMan, charitable donations and also from the sale of Strong Island’s collaboration t-shirt with Portsmouth FC. Each t-shirt sold sees £5 go direct to funding this project and other projects that aim to improve the ground by working with local creatives. Many of the artists and the people involved are working on a voluntary basis, keeping the costs to a minimum and allowing for striking, bold new artwork to continue to help keep the spirits high for the club’s first season under ownership of the fans and the local community.

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STAKEHOLDER INTERVIEW: ADAM BLACKMORE } In terms of challenges, what would you say are Solent Sports biggest right now? AB: Trying to maintain the amount of live sport we do with dwindling resources. This is my ninth season, and when I came in the editor before me didn’t need to go on air, we had Alan Ball in and all the summarisers and now there are just four of us, (Adam Blackmore, Kris Temple, Kevan James and Andy Moon), and we still do every Pompey, Saints, Cherries and Hampshire game live. It means there is no-one in the office but we manage to get it all done.

getting them to understand we are there. Some people still don’t know that we do every game! I don’t have a marketing budget so it’s just about word of mouth. It annoys me when I get people saying you keep reading out tweets or texts about Saints or Bournemouth, but that reflects what people are sending in. If you send us Pompey texts we will read them out but it’s chicken and egg. I love Pompey as much as I love our other clubs and we will just keep doing what we are doing.

So what was your lowlight watching Pompey? What about the Pompey audience, anecdotally it seems to be growing in size and appreciation, what is the reason behind that? AB: I think we offer a consistently high standard whoever is commentating. Whether Pompey are in the Conference or the Premier League, we’ve made a commitment to cover the club every game week in week out. There are elements of supporters of all clubs who tell us we are biased but there is no doubt that I’ve experienced more Pompey fans telling me we are red than I have other clubs telling me we are blue. I think that stems from our office being based in Southampton, which is not something I can change. Not one of us is originally a fan of any of the clubs we work with, but we grew to love them all. I’m from the Midlands, Kris is from Kent, and Kevan is from London, but the biggest moment in my career was commentating on Pompey in the FA Cup final in 2010. There is no-one I’m closer to in football than Andy Awford, we are both lads from Worcester who’ve ended up on the South Coast and are roughly the same age. My biggest challenge with the Pompey audience is

AB: I think it was Preston 1 Pompey 0 early in Steve Cotterill’s reign. I took my grandson who had fallen in love with Pompey and after the game I asked Steve Cotterill for his views on the match and he tried to belittle me in front of Neil Allen, Jordan and the guys from the News. Part of me wanted to say ‘why the hell are you talking to me like that when you know I’ve got my grandson standing there?’ But I didn’t, I just carried on with my questions. I wish I had told him where to stick it, but you can’t do that, it’s not my job, but it wasn’t my fault his team played rubbish. There aren’t many lowlights though because I love what I do.

Who was the best Pompey manager to deal with? The obvious answer is to say Harry simply because he gives you such great quotes, but to be honest I can’t really say anything much about people like Perrin and Zajec because I wasn’t given the chance to form any kind of relationship with them. Zajec was impossible to have a relationship with. Tony Adams was great to deal with, he was misunderstood

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by a few but his heart was definitely in the right place and when he left he gave me an interview he gave nobody else which was great of him. But Harry would come out on top because he gave great quotes and because you could always ring him. When Pompey were in the Premier League there was this media control over everything, you would get calls saying “why did you talk to him, you know you aren’t allowed to ring him?”. That was when it got really tough, when the barriers came up and everything was so controlled. We just wanted to talk about football, I don’t see why clubs want the media to stop talking to them.

I SPEAK TO PEOPLE EVEN AT THE BIGGEST CLUBS AND THEY SAY WHEN THE LIGHTS ARE ON AT FRATTON PARK AND IT’S ROCKING IT’S JUST HOW FOOTBALL SHOULD BE

I gather when we were in the Premier League there was this attitude that ‘we don’t need the News, we don’t need local radio stations etc etc’ did that come across? AB: We’ve always had a contract with the club so it didn’t really affect me so much. The club have always accepted there is a role to play with the local radio station, which was great because the first aim for me at the start of every season is to have a contract with the clubs. There was definitely a case though that when the money comes in from Sky, there is an attitude in clubs that it no longer matters what the local people think. The players are as guilty of that as anyone. They forget that you’re the ones that follow them week in week out up and down the country and of course when you do drop out of the Premier League, who’s left? I once said to a CEO here that you can upset people but there will come a Tuesday night when you’ll need them but they won’t forget. AB: That’s right. Who is going to make that journey up to

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Hartlepool on a Tuesday night or Carlisle on a Saturday? It isn’t the tabloids, it isn’t the nationals, it isn’t Sky, it isn’t national BBC, (although the cameras are there), it’s the people who care, who are there every game. We aren’t enemies of the clubs, we try to work with them as much as possible.

In terms of the local journalists, who is the most difficult to deal with and who is easiest to work with? AB: I’ve got no problem with anybody, we all try to work together and help each other. I’ve had situations where people at other papers have had a go at the station but I think it’s a little bit small minded. We all do the same job, and if Steve Wilson can’t get to interview a player I don’t mind playing the audio back to him. There is a lot of banter but we are all travelling up and down the country doing the same thing.

Is it true that when you go away and get given food by the host club Neil Allen always eats vastly more than his fair share? AB: I don’t think I’m in any position to criticise others for eating too much! Funnily enough, historically Neil and I are both Villa fans so we tend to talk about the Villa but I think what he actually does is take the food home in a doggy bag and then he doesn’t need to buy food for the next three days!

Do you think you are well looked after at Fratton Park? AB: Depends in what you mean by well looked after. Am I arrogant enough to believe that just because I turn up to a game I should get hot food given to me for free? That doesn’t even enter my thinking. When I do get hot food for free, at Premier League grounds for example, you think that’s fantastic. The fact is though that I get looked after because when I’m at Pompey I walk from my car to the gate Rowly says to me “Hello Adam, how you doing?”, Mick Hogan takes the mickey out of me and his son Mark says hello. I love coming to Fratton because the staff are great and there’s a welcome, and there’s some banter. You don’t necessarily get that at other clubs, and when we urge people to get behind the Trust it’s because those people are the fabric of Pompey and they deserve it to be better than it is. They are worth their weight in gold to the club.


There is this view that when we were in the Premier League half of the slating we got from some of the national journalists was partly because they didn’t get the sort of hot food and looking after they got from other clubs, is that true? AB: It’s absolutely true. When Chelsea put on a five star buffet in their press room it’s not because they have to or even particularly want to. It’s because they know that when a journalist has a smile on his face he might be more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. That’s not a criticism of my fellow journalists it’s just human nature. If you get looked after and spoilt by people you are probably one per cent less likely to criticise them. So people would come to Fratton and say “there are no TV’s for replays, or no nice meals”, and I would think ‘really, do you need that to do your job?’. When you’ve been brought up from non-league like I have you appreciate what you do get rather than what you don’t.

I know all clubs have this paranoia but when we were in the Premier League we definitely felt that elements of the press hated us? Why do they always use that awful photograph of the barbed wire, why is it always us? AB: If you look back now I would say it was because they could see the falsehood of what was going on, they were making a point that this club wasn’t matching its spending so those pictures accentuated the disparity between what was coming in and what was going out. There was a general perception that this couldn’t last.

We’ve got a feeling at Portsmouth that with the Community Club model, of not spending more than you earn, of reinvesting profit is the future, do you think that is the way forward? AB: Well I think at this level certainly, you’ve got to stop clubs trying to live the dream. If the Trust, with the backing of the city, can show that they can generate off the field revenue that enables the club to progress, then that is a huge benefit and will show football that if you get it right, get the right coach, right academy, right players paid fairly for what they do, then you can still compete at a higher level. The buy-in from the city is crucial. If you get crowds of 10,000 in League 1 then you should be at the top end of the division. If you are going to get players to compete at League 1 they are going to be looking towards the Championship and looking for the money at the top end of League 1. So where do you get that money? If it can be got outside of matchday income and from people

coming back in to back the club it allows you to progress. With the Pompey situation we are going to see if the horse can come before the cart rather than the other way around.

What do you think of the atmosphere at Fratton Park? AB: On a Saturday afternoon it’s terrific. On a Tuesday night I love it even more. I speak to people even at the biggest clubs and they say when the lights are on at Fratton Park and it’s rocking it’s just how football should be. That’s how I grew up watching football and it reminds me of that. I remember the FA Cup quarter-final with Birmingham in 2010 which was actually on a Saturday lunchtime and I’ve never heard anything like it. It was the most electric atmosphere, because at the time there was already adversity and there was just this enormous wave of emotion. It was just something to experience and I’ve rarely experienced anything like it in football. It made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. That was the game for me.

What’s Mark Kelly really like? AB: He’s an absolutely top bloke! A deep thinker about the game. I loved having John Durnin on as a guest, but Mark has bought in to what we do and joins in with the banter with the guys. What the summarisers do is fill in the gaps for us laymen. We say what’s happening, they say why. That’s how the relationship works. Whether it’s me or Kris Temple or Andy Moon, we know if we say ‘this is happening’ Mark will come in and say ‘it’s because he did that and he didn’t do that’ and his football knowledge is very good.

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ENGLAND WOMEN VISIT MEDINA PRIMARY SCHOOL } On Monday 16th September, two members of the England Women’s national team visited a Portsmouth school ahead of two crucial World Cup qualifiers. On Saturday 21st September the England Women’s team beat Belarus 6-0 in Bournemouth and on Thursday 26th September they beat Turkey 8-0 at Fratton Park. Ahead of these vital matches they answered some tough questions set by the children of Medina Primary School, Cosham, before taking part in a football training session with Pompey in the Community coaches. Joining them were Pompey first team players Tom Craddock and Marcos Painter, manager Guy Whittingham and a group of female footballers from the highly regarded Pompey Ladies team. The players all mixed well with the children and even some late afternoon rain didn’t dampen the spirits with all the participants leaving with a smile on their face and personally signed pictures of the England Women.

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BUNKY

JOURNALIST DAVE ‘BUNKY’ BOWERS, FORMER FANZINE EDITOR, CLUB PR MANAGER, AND NOW CO-COMMENTATOR FOR EXPRESS FM AND POMPEY PLAYER, TELLS US HOW HIS AND POMPEY’S LIVES HAVE BOTH GONE FULL CIRCLE

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} When Pompey were winning promotion from the fourth tier of English football in 1980 I was starting my ‘journalistic’ career working behind the scenes at the now sadly defunct Radio Victory. On the mic were Richie Stevens and the legendary Jim Ware; working as reporters, and occasionally patching through calls with me, were Grant Coleman – erstwhile sports editor of Radio Solent, now director of news services for OBS Madrid – and John Terrett, now a Washington-based correspondent for Al Jazeera. They went on to big things … I soon joined Zurich Insurance. Eventually, despite the best efforts of the UK’s media moguls, I managed to forge a career as a journalist, and it has come full circle: Pompey are in the fourth tier and I’m on local radio again. OK, I admit it: there are worse ways to spend a Saturday than talking about your favourite football team. But I have to be careful. Back in the 80s, when I was one of the Boater Boys on the north terrace, I wasn’t a stranger to some fruity language when Pompey’s play or a refereeing decision irked me. I have mellowed in middle age, but, even now, I have to contain myself when somebody does something wholly stupid. Since then, a mate and I launched the fanzine FRATTONISE, then stopped working on the fanzine FRATTONISE, I became a full-time hack and I have seen numerous promotions and relegations and have treated those two impostors just the same … What’s more I saw Pompey win the FA Cup, something I never thought we would achieve in my lifetime – and, given the subsequent nadir of stereophonic administrations, part of me wishes we never had. That I now own a share of a share in MY

club never fails to fill me with a warm feeling I get normally only from a chicken balti pie. And I rather like the 2013/14 incarnation of Portsmouth Football Club, both on and off the field. Sure, some people – myself included at times – will complain that stuff could have been done differently, but at least we can sleep safe in the knowledge that at least it’s being done transparently and with the best intentions. The people running our club now really have a passion for it; not the sort of passion club owners put on for the TV cameras or a supporters’ club meeting: it’s real, genuine, home-grown passion. The sort of desire that made you splash out on a Premier League club calendar even though you knew that beyond April none of the respective players would be wearing blue any more. And the players seem to have that desire too. Take Simon Ferry as an example: when was the last time you saw a Pompey player cycling through the city on his way to training? Or when did Pompey players spend so much time with their own supporters, simply chatting and having their pictures taken, without the fans incurring legal letters demanding image-rights payments? OK, if you’re a Johnny-Come-Lately – or ‘young’ as some people call it – you will have been raised on a diet of top-flight football and this current crop may not be as skilled as previous incumbents; but take it from somebody who’s seen a season in each of the four divisions at least twice, some of your best football memories will be garnered in League 2. I still recall Northampton in 1980 with enormous pleasure, and a couple of home games where we scored six. You’ll love it – trust me. And, what’s more, you won’t have to suffer Scott McGarvey on the way back up.

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OUT OF THE SHADOWS } Transparency has been a key part of the new Pompey since the Portsmouth Supporters’ Trust bought the club out of administration, and to this end Out of the Shadows will shine a light on the unsung people involved with the club. First up is Tracey Mitchell, Pompey’s sales executive. What does your role at the club involve? TM: It’s all sales at the football club. That includes all the sponsorship packages, the perimeter boards, the corporate hospitality and advertising. So it is everything to do with sales really. You returned to the club in June, has it gone well? TM: Yes it has. People are coming back on board now. It’s going really well and we are delighted with all the sponsorship we have, but obviously we are always looking for more sponsors. We have sold out the lounges for a few of the games, so that’s good, but there are still some spaces left for some of the games. In terms of sponsors, does the club have set packages or can sponsors come to you and suggest the package they want? TM: All of our packages are bespoke. If a local company come to us and they’ve got a small budget then we will find something for them, and if we have a bigger company with a huge marketing budget then we can give them a different package that suits them. Some companies want advertising and others want corporate hospitality packages put together, so we try to find something to suit every individual. You were at the club before, so how have things changed since the Trust took over? TM: The club lost a lot of sponsors in the last few years with all the uncertainty that administration caused, but now people are coming back and trusting us again which is obviously important. We have a good team here and everybody is helping to bring money in and build the club. As for the change since the Trust took over, there is now a positive feeling here. Some of the Trust’s members have been around the football club for many years, having been sponsors themselves. Iain McInnes was a Chimes patron for years. All of these people have put personal money in along with the fans and they have done it because they love the club. It is a business, but they are so passionate and I think that goes a long way because they care about the club. It’s back to the days where it doesn’t matter if you’re a small business with a really small budget. It is important that everyone is looked after because every penny counts and it is a

PEOPLE ARE COMING BACK AND TRUSTING US WHICH IS OBVIOUSLY IMPORTANT professional service. Lots of businesses say that you can always get somebody through the door once, but keeping hold of them is what matters, and looking after them and making sure that they feel valued. If people keep coming back every year there is a reason behind that. How can the fans get involved? TM: Since I’ve been back a lot of fans have upgraded their season ticket to some hospitality for special occasions, which I’ve not really known before. They will have a meal and it’s really nice to see the fans in the lounges as well, because they will put their money into the club. Lots of fans think it is out of their price range, but it starts from £20. Are you happy with how things are going? TM: Yes I am. It will be nice when everything is completely sold, but some of the games are sold out for hospitality and it is down to that big word, trust. People trust us again, so the businesses that suffered during administration are now coming back and it’s a happy environment again. What are your hopes for the future at Pompey? TM: I hope that we can build on everything we have done and that everything can be sold. It’s nice to see the local businesses advertising with us again, and I think the aim is to look after everybody and let everybody know that no matter what your budget is there is something for you here at the football club. What has been the highlight of your time at the club? TM: My highlight was actually before I came back to the club. It was when I was listening to the radio that day in April and I found out that the Trust had got the club. Since I’ve been back I have really enjoyed it. We’re treated as a team and everyone is equal.

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Profile for Official Pompey

Heaven's light issue 1  

THE OFFICIAL DIGITAL MAGAZINE OF PORTSMOUTH FOOTBALL CLUB

Heaven's light issue 1  

THE OFFICIAL DIGITAL MAGAZINE OF PORTSMOUTH FOOTBALL CLUB

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