THIS could so easily have been the day of disaster for Pompey, with August 10, 2012, forever recorded as the moment in time at which a great club beset by the choking millstone of mismanagement finally collapsed like a deck of cards.
Instead, it will we hope go down for all time as a day of destiny – the first to dawn at the beginning of a new start for the club.
That has been made possible by city councillors who to a man and woman yesterday agreed to a £1.45m loan to the Pompey Supporters Trust. And so the way is clear, we hope, for fans to outbid alternative owner Balram Chainrai and, against what seemed to be near insurmountable odds achieve their dream of creating a community club in every sense of the word.
The councillors are, of course, to be congratulated but, in a sense, when it came to it the decision was relatively simple. Who after all would vote against the only lifeline Pompey had left? And there is a pragmatism in the decision for, as we have said before, Portsmouth Football Club is a business with a unique standing in this city. What economic gloom would the council have wreaked on the populace by letting the club die?
The loan, coupled with the negotiated departure of highly-paid players, paves the way for the Trust to bring Pompey out of administration.
That would end the tenure of Trevor Birch, who should be praised for the quiet determination that has persuaded seemingly obdurate players to finally recognise the economic facts of life.
There is of course a long way to go and more hurdles to be overcome. But we feel that it is not premature to offer plaudits today and, for all the various efforts of those who have contributed to this escape from disaster, the lion’s share of praise must go to the ordinary fans who united to form the Trust.
They’ve been steadfast in their belief that the club must – and can – be saved. Today, they deserve the thanks of all Pompey supporters as they push forward with their efforts. We truly believe they have taken the club to a new dawn.
Play up Pompey!