Skipper will never forget history being made

Pompey skipper and fans' favourite Johnny Ertl believes the club can look forward to a bright new future under the Portsmouth Supporters' Trust Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey skipper and fans' favourite Johnny Ertl believes the club can look forward to a bright new future under the Portsmouth Supporters' Trust Picture: Joe Pepler

Geovanni, right, celebrates his goal on trial for Pompey with Noe Pamarot

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The time was 4.10pm. The date was April 10, 2013.

Mr Justice Peter Smith returned to court 30 of the Rolls Building at the High Court after a short retirement.

And the judge then ratified the agreement which made history – that Portsmouth Football Club would become the biggest fan-owned club in the United Kingdom.

It was a proud moment for everyone who bleeds royal blue. And the man who leads the team on the pitch could feel the relevance of the occasion.

Johnny Ertl can see a bright new dawn for his club, and he feels proud to lead an outfit which has underlined its unique standing.

Ertl said: ‘What has happened here is history in the making.

‘It’s the biggest club in the history of English football to be owned by the supporters.

‘Everybody will remember April 10, 2013 for years to come.

‘This was the day Portsmouth got sorted.

‘Now it’s down to the community and everyone who worked hard for this to have a plan for the next few years.

‘It’s just great for the club that everything got sorted.

‘Now we can build on that and take it step by step to build for the future.

‘We’ve all been desperate for good news.

‘The club has been in administration for 14 months. I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life.

‘It’s been us against the rest of the world. But things have been sorted and we can now build for the future. We now need to be patient.

‘It’s a great relief for everybody and it’s great news for everyone in the community.

‘Wherever we go, people ask about Portsmouth and the incredible fans.

‘In many ways this club is unique. This has shown that.’

Ertl admitted he was caught up in yesterday’s High Court drama as it unfolded.

The 30-year-old turned to The News to keep abreast of events as they took place in London.

‘It’s a huge relief for everybody and we’re really happy,’ said Ertl.

‘I followed it on Twitter and looked at the tweets from The News.

‘It was quite funny to hear that the judge supported Hull City. It made me laugh, but it was also a nervous time.

‘Even following it on the internet was emotional, but we all kept the faith.’

After winning one of the biggest fights in the club’s history off the pitch, the trip to Griffin Park to take on Brentford tomorrow promises to be a huge celebration for fans, with the club able to have sold their 1,736 allocation for the game many times over.

Ertl said: ‘It’s going to be a great day.

‘We want to make sure we give them a difficult game up there.

‘They are a really good settled side who are right up there in the table.

‘They are pushing for promotion so we know what a difficult game it’s going to be for us. But we can play with freedom right now.

‘This club’s problems are sorted and we can just think about taking the three points home with us.’

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