Leading article: Pompey and circumstance

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The Independent Online

One team is the billionaire owner-backed winner of the league which is looking forward to a new season competing with the glamorous and moneyed elite of European football.

The other team is a bankrupt shell of a club, which has passed through the hands of four dodgy owners in the past year, and is facing a future of, at best, second-tier league football and, at worst, oblivion. Has there ever been an FA Cup final quite like this?

To present Chelsea versus Portsmouth at Wembley today as a David versus Goliath contest makes the biblical struggle seem like a reasonably fair fight. But perhaps it is a testament to the marvellous unpredictability of football that, despite everything, the outcome of this game cannot be taken entirely for granted. Portsmouth has itself to blame for the financial situation in which it finds itself. But it is very hard not to feel sympathy for the club's fans. And if the end really is in sight, one would have to have a heart of stone to begrudge them one final, magnificent party at Wembley today.