Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughPompey's possible rebirth - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Pompey's possible rebirth - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Pompey’s possible rebirth


There comes a time for every football club when they have to shake off the remnants of bygone days. This summer will see the rebirth of Portsmouth Football Club.

It is no use going over old ground, people know, to some extent, why Pompey find themselves in the third tier of English football. A series of bad management decisions at boardroom level effectively destroyed the players’ efforts on the pitch.

However, despite the murky ground and negative feeling associated with the club, this could perhaps be the defining summer of Portsmouth’s long history. If there ever was a time for the club to   pull itself together it is now.

In Michael Appleton Pompey have a manager who is head strong and not afraid to make big decisions, demonstrated this week with the release of goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown, Pompey’s longest serving player, and defender Ricardo Rocha, a survivor of the 2010 FA Cup final defeat and fan favourite.

Appleton has more or less sent out the message that the time for change is now. When Pompey entered administration for the first time the culture of the club failed to change. The scraps of the Alexandre Gaydamak era continued to starve the club of the little money it had.

It has taken a second period of administration and a change in administrator to truly remove the  cancers of its past.

Apart from Tal Ben-Haim and his reported £36,000 a week wage, one by one the top earners are being sold and crucial money is being saved. Appleton has also given eight academy players professional contracts which not only shows his confidence in youth, but also reconnects the fans to the club and helps heal some of the wounds sustained.

It is obviously too early to claim that this supposed ‘rebirth’ will cure all of the club’s ills. But it does send a feeling of cheer amongst the terraces.

Sometimes relegation can perversely be a good thing. Norwich have proved just how beneficial it can be and Southampton can also testify that while it hurts the ego, it doesn’t destroy it.

Of course the path back to the top tiers can also be treacherous as Bradford City have discovered. Nevertheless, that is no disgrace.

The lower leagues are not short on quality and drama as any showing of The Football League Show will demonstrate. Indeed, Pompey could well find the goal of promotion harder than expected and it is conceivable that the club may have to wait for a return to the Championship.

Putting this aside, you do sense that the fans will simply be grateful for seeing a team run out onto the pitch come August, with the added sense of pride home-grown players provide.

Pompey have taken many a knock-out blow since 2008, this summer could finally see them rising from the canvass.

Gary Peters

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