News business editor Emma Judd: ‘We’ve done it before – and we can do it again’

Melody Chinese restaurant in Commercial Road, Portsmouth

REVEALED: Portsmouth restaurant let customers drink and smoke in karaoke rooms until 6am

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THERE will be a few people who wonder what good a meeting like yesterday’s will do.

They will question the wisdom of sending an open letter to David Cameron, urging him to look personally at the plight of Portsmouth’s shipbuilding and intervene.

Perhaps they will dismiss it all as a waste of time.

Twenty-two months ago, I sat around a table at The News, in a different meeting, trying to help save a football club.

At that time, it looked likely that Pompey would blink out of existence, robbing the city of one of its major focuses and, despite its financial troubles, a major contributor to the local economy.

Back then things were so bad that a Plan B was mooted – starting the club from scratch again.

On January 26, 2012, members of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust, Verisona Solicitors, city councillors and the Shaping the Future of Portsmouth organisation met to discuss what could be done.

In short, it was a collection of people with the passion and commitment to make a difference.

There were some – a vociferous few – who denounced the entire scheme as a waste of time. But by hard work, passion, and sheer determination, Portsmouth Football Club was saved and is now owned by its fans.

Plan B didn’t need to happen, the city still has a Fratton Park thrumming with atmosphere on match days and the Pompey Chimes can ring out proudly.

It’s that pride which, once again, was under discussion around a table in a newspaper office yesterday.

Shipbuilding is even more part of our history than football – so it’s even more important to secure its future here.