Portsmouth’s trials and tribulations have been well documented over the last four years. From FA Cup Final heartbreak on May 15th 2010 to League Two Football this season, no football fan could have predicted the fall that the south coast club has suffered. The club’s loyal fans saw their team dragged through the dirt by more than one owner who had a higher agenda than the longevity of football in the great naval city. This bringing into question the purpose and functionality of the FA’s fit and proper person test. Three relegations in four seasons have seen the club change from top to bottom with one ever present. The Fratton Park Faithful. Could it finally be time that Portsmouth get their feet firmly back in the Football League door.
As Pompey went into their first campaign in the base of the Football League since 1983 many felt they had finally got over their troubled times and it was a fresh start. After months of court cases and campaigning in April 2013 the Pompey Supporters’ Trust completed the takeover of the club and the fans had got what they wanted. Over 10,000 season tickets were sold for season, exceeding totals reached by several Championship sides. Their was a quiet confidence amongst the sell out crowd at Fratton Park on the opening day, many bookmakers having Pompey as favourites for promotion. It came as no surprise after the recent history of the club that the season didn’t start with a fairytale script. Someone forgot to tell Chris Wilder and his Oxford side that this was meant to be Portsmouth’s day for redemption, as the visitors dealt out a 4-1 mauling. A reality check for any of the fans that have got ahead of themselves after a more stable summer off the pitch.
A first round defeat in the Capital One Cup to fellow south coast side Bournemouth, who found themselves in Pompey’s position just a few years ago, left some to jump to conclusions that it was going to be another year of woe at Fratton Park. Portsmouth got their first point of the season away at Accrington and in front of another bumper home crowd Pompey managed a maiden triumph against Morecambe last Saturday. With a busy summer for boss Guy Whittingham it was always going to take time for the squad to gel. Thirteen players in and ten out, the latest addition being experienced full back Marcos Painter signing on a free transfer from Brighton to attempt to sure up an inexperienced and leaking back line which conceded six goals in three league games.
The next six games see four long away trips up north for Whittingham’s men. A good return from this sticky run of games could set the club up for an assault on the top three over the winter months. No football fan would deny Pompey success over the course of this season giving the club some pride that has been missing on in the maritime city in recent years. All the fans want is stability off the pitch as well as on it, a platform to build on. The new board have set out realistic long term goals for the club as they create a master plan to return Pompey to the glory days witnessed at Fratton Park a few years ago.