Fans must stay together in battle to save club

The Rev Canon Bob White with representatives of the groups involved in our Christmas campaignh run with churches in Portsmouth - Comfort and Joy

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To many, businessman Balram Chainrai is the only saviour that will prevent Pompey from going out of existence.

Others say he’s a divisive figure and don’t want him anywhere their beloved club.

One thing’s for sure, he is a controversial character and one who has re-entered the ongoing saga surrounding Pompey’s struggle to stay afloat.

Just by taking a look at the hundreds of comments left on Pompey stories over the weekend at The News’ website, portsmouth.co.uk, and replicated in the paper today, the split of opinion is almost 50/50.

But while fans are divided on this issue, they remain bonded together over the battle to keep the club going.

This was demonstrated when dozens of supporters at the Fratton end decided to stay in their seats and sing long after the final whistle blew in a positive protest.

They may have just seen their side go down 3-1 against Middlesbrough, but they sang like it was a victory.

Their resolve drew praise from Pompey’s administrator Trevor Birch who said he was ‘overwhelmed by the level of support that the fans give’.

He went on: ‘After we went a goal down, the response from the fans brings a lump to the throat.

‘It just strengthen the resolve that there’s no way this club will fold.’

And Pompey manager Michael Appleton also decided he wanted to leave the dressing room and applaud the supporters.

The attendance at Saturday’s game at Fratton Park was also pleasing. While not hitting the 20,000 capacity, the figure of 16,770 proved that Pompey supporters are still with their team at its most important – and worrying – time in its 114-year history.

Yes, there will be harder times ahead.

And there will be many who will remain split over Mr Chainrai’s possible involvement.

But Pompey supporter groups need to remain together, no matter what.

For as long as they are then there is hope for the club.