Exclusive: Paul Cook speaks to Pompey fans

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Paul Cook has this afternoon given an exlusive statement to The News to explain the reasons behind his Pompey departure.

Cook was today unveiled as Wigan manager – just 25 days after winning the League Two title with the Blues.

Here, in his own words, he addresses the Fratton faithful. His statement read...

It has been an honour and a privilege for me to have been the manager of Portsmouth Football Club for the past two seasons.

I will treasure my time at the club forever – the memories of being crowned League Two champions and pushing such a great club back up the football pyramid has given me, my staff and my family tremendous pleasure and pride.

Since gaining promotion to League One and subsequently winning the League Two title, I came out and stated that I would never wish to leave the club.

As the weeks have transpired it became quite clear to me that, with the realisation of new owners coming in, there were many grey areas both personally and professionally for myself and my staff.

Amid this uncertainty I have decided to take up a new challenge with Wigan Athletic Football Club.

I wish my successor the best of luck, as he will inherit not only a great group of players but a fantastic fan base and a wonderful football club that will always be close to my heart.

There have been some memorable moments during my time as Pompey manager but the day we won the league title against Cheltenham will stay with me forever.

I have worked every day to represent the club to the best of my ability, to develop both the team and individual players that the club’s magnificent fans can be proud of.

I was brought in by chairman Iain McInnes, the board of directors and the Pompey Supporters’ Trust who understood and supported my vision and who gave me the privilege of becoming the Pompey manager.

At this time of change and with my future clearly uncertain, I feel it is only correct that I leave the club at the same time as the people who brought me in.

The relationship I enjoyed with the chairman and the board was one that every manager dreams of and, to them, I will be forever grateful.

My sincere thanks go to CEO Mark Catlin, financial director, Tony Brown, Leam Richardson and all the staff who have worked under me and especially the players who brought us all so much success. Kev the kitman, I will miss you a lot.

To the Portsmouth fans, I wish with all my heart that I could have taken you to where you wanted to be and I hope and pray you understand my decision.

Paul Cook

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