Mandaric: My Pompey pain

Former Pompey owner Milan Mandaric
Former Pompey owner Milan Mandaric
Nathan Thompson. Picture: Sarah Standing

Pompey man believes injury issues are over

17
Have your say

Milan Mandaric spoke of his heartache at Pompey’s demise and admitted: It makes me sick.

The man who rescued the Blues from administration and established them as a Premier League outfit has today spoken out over his former club’s troubles.

And Mandaric hinted that Balram Chainrai has to take responsibility not to ‘destroy’ the side he took over in 1998.

The Serb billionaire insisted he has been pained and angered to see the club fall apart in recent seasons.

Mandaric, who now owns Sheffield Wednesday, stated he is stunned by the extent of the problems Pompey face.

Chainrai looks set to return to the fray as he looks for a return on the £18.5m he is owed.

Mandaric believes the Hong Kong-based businessman has to carefully consider his role moving forward.

He said: ‘It breaks my heart to see the club where it is now, to be honest. If somebody wanted to destroy the club, they couldn’t do a better job.

‘It makes me sick, to be honest, after everything.

‘I just hope they can sort things out and make some progress there.

‘It just makes me angry because I can’t do anything.

‘To be honest, even if I could I don’t know if it would be possible.

‘It just sounds messed up so much. It needs to be sorted.

‘Maybe some people need to give in a bit to not totally destroy the club.

‘It’s the fans’ club. Unless you can do something to help out – don’t bother.’

Mandaric’s eight-year stint as Pompey’s owner came to a close in 2006 when he sold to Sacha Gaydamak.

He admitted he would have thought twice about doing so had he known what would eventually take place at Fratton Park.

The 73-year-old delivered an emotional assessment of his feelings towards Pompey fans and his relationship with them.

He feels they remain the club’s biggest asset and will not let the Blues die if their problems continue.

Mandaric said: ‘Sometimes I blame myself. If I’d known this was going to happen I would never have walked away.

‘It looked good and it looked good in the beginning under Gaydamak but someone, somewhere lost the plot.

‘Portsmouth is my love affair, no matter where I am.

‘I carry my key ring which says “Play up Pompey” everywhere with me.

‘It’s a special club. It’s not only special to me. I have never found one person who has had anything but nice things to say about Portsmouth supporters.

‘It makes me feel good. It’s not only me with the memories.

‘But the way I was accepted and appreciated was wonderful.

‘You either have that relationship or you don’t.

‘You are who you are and the fans took to me.

‘They are special people and will not let their club die.’