On the 10th of April at 16:21 papers were signed as the Portsmouth Supporters Trust (PST) reached an out of court settlement with Portpin over the value of Fratton Park, giving the PST the go ahead to complete an incredible takeover.
Weridly, just five days after the takeover, it was 10 years since Svetoslav Todorov sent Pompey into the Premier League. Futhermore the following day, while Portsmouth were playing a charity midweek freindly against club legend Hermann Hreidasson’s side in IBV, Pompey had their drop to League Two confirmed.
In between this was a game away at Brentford, with 1,700 Pompey fans making the trip to London for a party after the PST were given the go ahead to complete their takeover. A party which was then scarred by a pitch invasion by 100 or so Pompey fans, and the club’s supporters have have come under a fair amount of criticism for this. I was there and didn’t go on the pitch but you have to say there are two sides to the story. The Brentford statement blaming the Pompey fans didn’t mention the flare that their fans threw on the pitch or them having to move some fans due to getting too wound up either. At the end though, this is all irrelevant and pointless.
The new era begins for the biggest community club in the UK, and surprisingly some fans would think the optimism couldn’t be higher right now in the Pompey community. The club starts debt free, we finally have a loyal squad of players who fight for every ball and we own our club.
Next season no one knows what will happen ahead of next season. We could end up signing the entirety of the current squad onto long term contracts and return to League One at the first time of asking. We could sign up a few, still have to build a squad and not go up, but with the revenue of our club through tickets and merchandising once the trust sort out all of the things that they can, there should be plenty to spend on the squad.
Whatever happens now we have amazing passion in this city, the fans have saved the club and no matter what anyone who doesn’t favour the trust says, just ask this; could it be run any worse than it already has been? The finances at the club are a business nightmare and now it can only be run better by people who love it.
The effort by the fans is almost unbelievable, so much money raised through pledges and no one can forget the people at the top of the Supporters Trust. Ian McInnes, Mick Williams and Ashley Brown, the non stop work and fighting from those three people who refused to let their football club die, we can give no more respect to people for doing what they know is right.
For the fans of other clubs, don’t pity us getting relegated, we’ve saved our club and we’ll be back before you know it. The future is bright.
We did it, we all did it.
Written by Lawrence Hall, We Are Going Up’s Portsmouth blogger
Lawrence tweets at @LawrencePFCHall