For us Pompey fans there is one thing you can guarantee – we’ll never have an ‘average’ season.
In the great football managers’ sack race, Pompey have had two across the line in less than four months – meaning 35 per cent of gaffers in the Football League have been shown the door…so far.
To paraphrase PST board members and executives, ‘this season is all about consolidation, building stability in the club’.
Two managers and dozens of players later, the revolving door of talent at Fratton Park is up to about 3,600 RPM. You’d be more stable trying to get across the Solent on a pogo stick.
For us, the fans, the biggest problem has been naivety. Like many, I thought we’d been through the dark times, that the clouds had parted with the PST and we were starting on the long, slow road to resurrection.
When you reconsider what the club has been through in the past, maybe we/I was foolishly optimistic to think the club’s fortunes could be turned around in a year.
Since 2008 the club has endured 10 different managers, five owners, been relegated three times, gone into administration, been deducted points on an almost annual basis and seen many millions of pounds come and go.
And from the millions earned during the Premier League days, what assets do Pompey have? A decent ground, training facilities, quality players or even a thriving youth set-up?
Beyond the spirit and energy of the fans, Portsmouth FC has nothing. There has been no evolution, growth or development.
The club has encountered mismanagement and greed of the highest order – right under the noses of people who spend a good proportion of their wages each week on a team that they love and have loved since they were sprats.
It’s unfair to point the finger at Whittingham, Catlin, Barker, the PST or even the current crop of players who have been tasked with saving our beleaguered club. They are/were the good guys.
The debilitating rot has been eating into the foundations at Pompey for the best part of six years. It’ll take time to recover…but we don’t have time.