IAN HART: I have no sympathy for Pompey or Rangers

ELSEWHERE in this newspaper, readers will know that sport is a big passion of mine.

Therefore, it might surprise some when I write that I have no sympathy for either Glasgow Rangers or Portsmouth Football clubs in their current troubles.

Some people pay income tax in their pay packets every week, for others it’s monthly, while a further group have to make one payment annually, the over-riding theme is that people pay. So, what makes football clubs think they’re immune from the process?

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History proves that, in fact, Al Capone eventually went to prison for tax evasion, so paying tax applies to everyone, Lester Piggott included.

On the flip side, I do feel very sorry for the thousands of loyal supporters of both clubs, who pay their hard-earned money to support teams that are run by people who have trouble managing a household budget.

But how would a Portsmouth fan feel if his Grannie’s hip operation got cancelled because of a shortfall in the NHS coffers, which, in turn, was caused by levels of unpaid income tax?

I also feel for the large number of small creditors.

In a lot of cases, local hard-working companies, both clubs owe money to, who now face a very uncertain time as both clubs have gone down the road of administration.

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I never thought I want to see clubs go out of business, but this is far more sinister than football.

By not paying tax and frankly running insolvent companies, both institutions are breaking the law, and no-one should be above the law.

Reality check

Regarding all the controversy over the Spy Glass pub on Worthing seafront, some people really need a reality check.

What’s up for a discussion here is a pub in a very sadly neglected seaside resort.

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I would ask the people complaining and causing a fuss to go and stand outside the boarded-up Clifton Arms or the building site that used to be the Half Brick and ask themselves what they would rather see in Worthing?

Providing it’s legal and in relatively good taste, anything that brings people into the town is okay in my book.

On a more positive note, good news regarding the Wheatsheaf.

The brewery has parted company with the previous tenants and given the lease to the very successful owners of the George and Dragon in Tarring Village, Michael and Linda Shiel.

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Which, returning to my point about bringing people into the town, is clearly a shot in the arm for Worthing when it comes to the 40-somethings.

Along with the Hare and Hounds, the Rose and Crown and the Light bar, the Wheatsheaf is another reason for the more mature drinker to venture to a town centre that can sometimes resemble a bad night in Benidorm, and that can only be good for Worthing.