World Cup winner joins Pompey Academy funding push

Paolo Rossi shows off his certificate after pledging money towards the Pompey Academy FanFunding scheme
Paolo Rossi shows off his certificate after pledging money towards the Pompey Academy FanFunding scheme
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1 Southend 0: They said what

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He inspired Italy to hoist aloft the World Cup, claiming the Golden Boot in the process.

Now the legendary Paolo Rossi has thrown his support behind Pompey’s bid to raise Academy training ground funds.

The 57-year-old is among an increasing number of football supporters around the world who have put aside allegiances to aid the Blues in pursuit of their ambitious £250,000 target.

More than £110,000 has so far been raised in the FanFunding scheme run in partnership with Tifosy, involving in excess of 1,866 people.

They include Jamie Ashdown and John Sullivan, both eager to give a financial contribution to their former club in its push to improve youth facilities.

The 2012 winner of BBC’s The Apprentice and Pompey fan Ricky Martin has also followed suit.

Now Rossi has clambered on board, persuaded to help out by Tifosy ambassador and fellow ex-Italian international Gianluca Vialli.

The former Juventus and AC Milan star is a footballing hero perhaps best remembered for the six goals he netted in the 1982 World Cup finals – including one in the 3-1 final success over Germany.

Yet Pompey’s drive to create two new training ground pitches for their Academy prospects has clearly struck a chord, prompting him to make a donation.

Likewise, other fans have also been impressed by the FanFunding concept which has another 34 days to go before the project’s self-imposed deadline.

Followers from Chelsea, Leicester, Manchester United, Spurs, Wolves, Bournemouth, Walsall and AFC Wimbledon have stepped forward to provide contributions during the past month.

In addition, Pompey supporters residing in 24 different countries have so far put their hands in their pockets during the campaign.

These include Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Holland, the United States, Hong Kong, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.

Donations have also arrived from Finland, Denmark, Hungary, Luxembourg, Singapore, Malta, Taiwan and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

It’s a reaction which epitomises the city’s desire to unite in their club’s hour of need – an attitude magnificently demonstrated last year when supporters helped save the club from liquidation to install a community ownership.

This time round the goal is to introduce youth facilities at their new Roko training ground home.

The construction of two pitches will enable the Academy to train alongside the first-team rather than be located at a different site, as is currently the set-up.

Already earmarked are two adjacent playing surfaces presently owned by the council and accessible from the Rugby Camp.

Once the funds are in place, the pitches will be transferred to the club and improved to meet training requirements.

People can contribute between £10 and £10,000, with a host of rewards on offer ranging from going for a meal with Andy Awford and Mark Catlin to being presented with squad number 44.

For more information visit tifosy.com/campaigns/pompey-academy