Trust ‘brings biggest feelgood factor’ to Pompey since FA Cup win

Portsmouth take on IBV at Fratton Park.'' 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (131047-4)
Portsmouth take on IBV at Fratton Park.'' 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (131047-4)
Christian Burgess

Pompey fans react to Burgess decision

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Rarely are the fans of any club in quite such a good mood on the night they find out they’ve been relegated.

But when it comes to Pompey, we know by now that this is no ordinary club.

For the first home game since the Pompey Supporters’ Trust gained control of the club, albeit a friendly in front of only half the ground, the 6,780 who showed up were in upbeat mood.

A Pompey side that included a few old faces in the latter stages – including Linvoy Primus, Svetoslav Todorov and manager-to-be Guy Whittingham in class-clown role – won 2-1 against Iceland’s IBV.

And Hermann Hreidarsson, who was the reason for the game, played for both sides in the second half.

But the score wasn’t important – this was a night for the faithful to show how much this club means to them.

Throughout the match slogans flashed up on the screen above the Linvoy Primus stand with punning messages such as: ‘Trust makes a difference’ as well as the more straight-forward: ‘Power to the people’, and: ‘We own our club.’

Among the more familiar chants, there was a repeated cry of: ‘We are Portsmouth City and we own our own club.’

It may not win any awards for wit and flair, but it certainly makes the point.

Thanks to results elsewhere last night, playing in League Two is now a certainty next season, but Blues fans are already looking forward to the fight.

Nige Barnes, 56, of Nightingale Road in Southsea said: ‘I’ve been coming to Fratton Park since 1966 and we’ve been down in the old third and fourth divisions before.

‘If we do well, I think you’ll see the crowds come back up to 15 or 16,000.’

And his partner Jo Barnes added: ‘I think this now is the biggest feelgood factor since we won the FA Cup.’

David Stokes, 51, of Hollam Road in Milton said: ‘It’s been an enjoyable night, the crowd was excellent.

‘The trust taking over is definitely a good thing, we’ve invested as part of a syndicate. We know we’re going down now, but we’ve been there before and we’ll fight our way back up again.’

At the end, both teams came on to huge cheers, and David James, who’d been on the bench but not played, was wearing one of the trust’s T-shirts that read simply: ‘In Pompey we trust.’