Portsmouth May Lose Football Team, Franchise in League Season of 14 games Ends With $16,949 Deficit

The Portsmouth Times in its issue of this afternoon is carrying an article headlined "Portsmouth May Lose Football Team and Franchise" in which Harry M. Snyder, owner of Universal Stadium and principal director of the club, is quoted as saying that the team is facing a deficit of $16,949 for the 14 games played so far this season and unless Portsmouth fans come to the rescue, sale of the team is imminent.

A meeting of the stockholders was held at the chamber of commerce rooms Wednesday night, with 18 of the 44 stockholders in attendance, at which the financial plight of the club was explained. Many of the stockholders agreed to double their stock in the club but it is learned that these were mostly stockholders who had $100 or $200 shares and that the amount made up by doubling their subscriptions would not go far toward covering the deficit.

The Times reports that while the team had a gallant and successful year on the gridiron its financial bark has sailed a rough sea. Portsmouth lost money on 12 of the 14 games played and the only two on which it broke even or made any money were the games with New York and Chicago, played at those places. The club lost money on every game it played at home. Most of the $16,949 deficit, it is understood, is owed the players for salaries and part is owed as a guarantee to another club for its appearance at Portsmouth.

At press time this afternoon another meeting of the stockholders was in progress in a final effort to save the team for Portsmouth but those in touch with the situation were pessimistic regarding the success of any plan that might be devised. The Portsmouth Times article says that the news of the financial plight of the club came as a bomb shell to most of the fans, as it was believed in view of the crowds that attended the home games that the club was at least breaking even if not actually making money. It is understood that Portsmouth lost $18,000 last year, the final year the Tanks were in the game and with this year's deficit it would seem the city has lost approximately $35,000 in two years in an attempt to maintain professional football. The meeting this afternoon was expected to determine the fate of the team. Green Bay, it is understood, has refused to carry out its agreement for another game with the Spartans. If Green Bay loses next Sunday and then lost to the Spartans they would be tied with the Portsmouth club for the league championship and it seems they are unwilling to take this risk and are refusing to play the game.

Source: Ironton Evening Tribune December 3, 1931