Pompey’s people’s champion still has his voice

Micah Hall Picture: Joe Pepler
Micah Hall Picture: Joe Pepler
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Micah Hall is agonising over separating Christian Burgess and Kyle Bennett to be crowned Pompey’s top performer this season.

Honourable mentions are also handed out to Ben Davies, Enda Stevens and Michael Doyle as he mulls over the outcome.

Talking football again – how the 46-year-old revels in the opportunity.

Hall was a pivotal figure in helping save Pompey from liquidation, a High Court triumph which occurred three years ago tomorrow.

A blogging propensity for disassembling the dubious characters who occupied the Fratton Park corridors of power during English football’s most spectacular demise established him as a destroyer of reputation.

Legal action, contact from the FBI, and calls with menaces were mere occupational hazards.

Peace reigned on April 10, 2013, when fans took ownership of Pompey in room 30 of the Rolls Building.

These days Hall is undertaking a law degree, maintaining season-ticket commitments alongside son, Lawrence, in the Fratton end.

The fight is over, the gloves hung up. Arguments now centre on who is Pompey’s player of the season.

Hall said: ‘The best thing these days is I can just sit down and watch football.

‘We used to dream of the days when we could only worry about the football. We can now! Everything else is under control.

‘I spent years of my life worrying about who was running the club and what was going to happen. I was trying to point out to people that as a club we were going nowhere.

‘You look at the shooting gallery of nutters, non-existent people, nominee companies, all of these characters we have had in and out of the doors.

‘These days we have a chairman and board of directors who are fabulous people. They are not all fans of me – but I am fans of all of them.

‘The presidents are solid gold, Mark Catlin has done an absolutely fabulous job, exceeding everybody’s expectations. Tony Brown is a Rottweiler, exactly what you need in the finance department.

‘All the off-field stuff is in good hands and it’s lovely going to a game and being able to enjoy it.

‘To see Pompey recently turning it on and dismantling Notts County 4-0 made it a nice day, everyone went home happy.

‘I’m definitely starting to really enjoy the games now.’

During the three years since seized by fan ownership, Pompey are debt free and have recorded successive operating profits.

A period of treasured stability compared to a four-year period when owned by the son of businessman imprisoned for money laundering, an Arab of exaggerated wealth, a mysterious figure of dubious existence, a money lender and a Russian presently on the run.

Then there were two administrations, a total of 29-point deductions and three relegations.

During the demise, Hall was joined by Colin Farmery, Nick Bain, John Lish and Sue Maskell for a series of hard-hitting online blogs.

It earned Hall a libel writ from Pascal Najadi, since struck out upon the intervention of the Malaysian’s lawyers. Money handed over by fans to Hall to aid that aborted fight has now been returned.

He added: ‘Those blogs rallied supporters behind a coherent narrative, stripping away the bluster to show what these people actually are.

‘There were a couple of blogs which made a bit of a difference in terms of the Football League’s thinking, showing on the balance of probabilities their rules had been broken.

‘It enabled them to turn round and say “No, you cannot take over the football club”.

‘What helped us take the club, though, were the fans. They were prepared to put their hands in their pockets and said “We are going to take this football club back”. It was an inspiring thing.

‘During the fight there had been healthy scepticism among many people, as there should be. You should always ask lots of questions of the people who want to run the club.

‘But making things up, which some did, why would you do that?

‘Through their hatred of the Trust and those trying to organise a fans’ takeover, there were supporters prepared to risk everything on the word of some shyster.

‘They believed people who never, ever, ever told us anything which turned out to be true. Not once.

‘We were told “I don’t have links with him” – yes you do. “I am going to invest lots of money in the club” – no you are not. “I will never let the club go into administration” – yes you will.

‘The fact you are prepared to buy into what they were saying to the extent of “I am happy for them to walk away with Fratton Park”. Are you insane?

‘After victory, plenty said it would be a complete disaster, ending back in administration. We were the amateurs whirling scarves around our heads thinking we knew what we were doing yet didn’t have a clue.

‘Looks like they were wrong.’

After the court case, Hall served as Pompey’s commercial and marketing manager until December 2014.

His life has since taken a different direction, leading to studying law at the University of Portsmouth.

The new-look Hall, who has also lost five stone, said: ‘I want to be an advocate. I feel I can make a difference and would like a practice in the spiritually-rewarded side rather than financially-rewarding.

‘My ambition would be fighting on behalf of the people who probably don’t have so much of a voice, the people who need the law but maybe can’t afford the law.

‘I have no money and am going to have to work until I drop dead, so I might as well work in something I believe will make a difference.

‘If I have any talent at all, it is being able to argue a case.’

And how he spoke up for Pompey.