On the 10th and 11th of April the future of Portsmouth Football Club will be decided. The administrators of Pompey (PKF) will go to court to decide the value of Fratton Park and if they lose, the club will be liquidated. If they win, Pompey will finally have a future where we aren’t looking at being pushed almost out of existence by dodgy owners.
On the pitch everything is finally looking up also. On Saturday Pompey beat Coventry City, a club with similar problems off the pitch. Coventry, who are still chasing the playoffs, would’ve been expected to win the game but thanks to Simon Eastwood’s penalty save and a great performance from the rest of the team, Pompey emerged 2-0 winners. The win means that in the last nine games Pompey have won more points than anyone else in the bottom five of the table. Pompey have taken 13, Hartlepool and Oldham 12, Scunthorpe nine and Bury six.
It’s a huge turn around from Portsmouth, a club that not so long ago went 23 games without a win. This can be attributed to the current side having more fight and determination than we’ve seen in years. A few youngsters have come into the side too, and it seems that Jed Wallace and Dan Butler aren’t escaping the eye of some Championship and Premier League clubs.
Wallace has scored four goals and claimed two assists in his short Pompey career, while putting in some very credible performances even when not chipping in with goals or assists. His impressive performances led him to being put on standby for England Under-19’s in the week.
Butler has very recently come into the side at left-back after the club released Jon Harley and has been good value for the decision to recall him back from his loan at Havant and Waterlooville. Many solid performances have strengthened his place in the side, although he was rested due to fatigue against Coventry. Also, no one can miss the warhorse that is Johnny Ertl, the man who gives 110% every game. Ertl is the best captain we’ve had all season and barring Sol Campbell, Linvoy Primus and Jason Pearce, the best captain we’ve had in a long while. A midfield general and a character, it’s almost a pleasure to have him at Pompey.
The manager is also to thank for this revival. He took the club on a large amount of the 23 game winless run and now we’re back on the rise. Guy Whittingham, or Corporal Guy as he’s also known, is Pompey through and through and has fought for this club ever since he was asked to on an interim basis, which is commendable.
A top Guy is Guy, but the long run without a win cannot be ignored for next season. Whittingham has had the hardest job in football but unfortunately there’s nothing to say he’s a great manager. There’s also not much to say he’s a particularly bad one due to the situation at Fratton Park, so we’ll have to wait and see what the club’s hierarchy decide to do with him next season.
While Guy has been as loyal as he has, you have to remember that the most loyal servants to Portsmouth Football Club are the fans., We still travel up and down the country to follow the team despite their awful form, the administration and everything that has contributed to the disaster that has been Pompey of the last few years. From over 1,000 fans at Leyton Orient on a Tuesday night to the 11,000 that still arrive at Fratton Park and continue to make the atmosphere what it always has been – loud and enjoyable.
Pompey are still five points behind Oldham Athletic in 20th place, with Pompey having played 40 matches while Oldham have played just 37. With a possible ten point deduction possibly on the way it seems survival is impossible, but this is Portsmouth and, as we learnt in the great escape season of 2005-06, anything is possible when you’re Pompey.
The future at Portsmouth Football Club is starting to look up. With the Portsmouth Supporters Trust about to take over a new beginning is finally on the horizon. The team are finally winning and with young starlets beginning coming through, the fans can start talking about football again in the near future. With the club finally being run sensibly Pompey can look up instead of down, even if it is in League Two.
Written by Lawrence Hall, We Are Going Up’s Portsmouth blogger
Lawrence tweets at @LawrencePFCHall