A columnist has sprung to the defence of former Pompey owner Milan Mandaric, telling critics at his present side: Without him, you wouldn’t have a club.
The ex-Fratton chairman has faced flak from some Sheffield Wednesday fans over what they see as insufficient investment.
Mandaric took over Wednesday just over four years ago. He had run Leicester City after selling Pompey to Alexandre Gaydamak in 2006.
Since his arrival at Hillsborough, Wednesday have gained promition from League One and now sit just outside the Championship play-off spots.
But Mandaric has faced criticism amid speculation that he might be about to sell up.
That has led to a forthright defence from Danny Hall, a columnist for our sister paper The Sheffield Star.
He asked supporters: ‘Are you one of the Owls fans taking to messageboards and forums or radio phone-ins, berating Mandaric for not putting his hand in his pocket?
‘Indulge me with a bit of imagination here.
‘Depending on your age, how did you feel when Mark Smith’s penalty made it 4-0 against United on December 26, 1979? When John Sheridan scored the winner in the League Cup final? Or when, more recently, your side sealed promotion to the Championship in 2011/12, consigning United to the play-offs amid jubilant scenes at Hillsborough?
‘Pretty damn good, I imagine. Now think about how you felt back on November 29, 2010. Chances are, you probably don’t remember. You should. That was the day Milan Mandaric saved your club.
‘Without him, would there be a Wednesday for me write this column about? For you to cheer every weekend?
‘His contributions that day, and efforts since, have been every bit as important as those delivered from Dooley’s fearsome forehead or Sheridan’s raucous right foot.
‘And my only hope is that, when the time comes for him to hand over control, he is remembered as he should be.
‘As a genuine Owls hero.’
*What is your assessment of Milan Mandaric’s contribution to the clubs he has owned and, particularly, to Pompey? Please leave your comment on this story.