Vialli praises ‘incredible’ Pompey FanFunders in final push

Gianluca Vialli, right, and Pompey boss Andy Awford. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141660-4)
Gianluca Vialli, right, and Pompey boss Andy Awford. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141660-4)
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Gianluca Vialli has praised the ‘amazing’ efforts of the Pompey fans who have contributed to the Academy fundraising project.

The Blues are within touching distance of reaching the magic £250,000 mark, which will see two Academy pitches constructed at the club’s new Roko training home.

If they achieve their goal, Pompey will become the first professional English club to reach such an ambitious target through the FanFunding initiative.

Ex-Chelsea striker Vialli, who launched the campaign in June as Tifosy’s ambassador, has been following the campaign closely and has been astounded by its success.

He said: ‘The campaign has gone from strength to strength, especially in the last few days with tens of thousands of pounds raised. I hope Portsmouth fans feel great and feel proud about what they’re doing.

‘What they’ve done is absolutely amazing.

‘They’ve already done something incredible when they saved the club.

‘And now they’re raising money to build facilities for the Academy and help the club to build a future.

‘They can think, that guy became one of the best Portsmouth players because they had a chance to develop and go through the Academy.’

Organisers were clearly hoping for a last-minute surge this week but what has happened has exceeded all expectations.

At the beginning of the week, the figure stood at £195,681 but a flood of donations has pushed it past the 230,000 mark with the deadline fast looming.

There was an incredible frenzy of activity on Thursday night, when £1,300 was raised in just 13 minutes.

Vialli believes Pompey have set a precedent for the way in which they engage fans – making it the perfect candidate for Tifosy’s first project.

From the day he arrived at Fratton Park, the Italian knew it was a special place and he had no qualms about raising such a large amount.

‘Pompey were courageous enough to try it,’ said the ex-Italy international.

‘At the launch, the guys from Tifosy were always very confident they could reach the target.

‘They know Pompey fans are very close to the club and they feel like it’s their club.

‘They knew it was going to be a special club and the success of this campaign has proven that.

‘Pompey have pioneered a concept that does actually work and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work in other situations, too.’

‘It could be a revolution for football and I wanted to be part of it.

‘In 10 years’ time, people might remember that it changed the way football fans work together with their clubs.’

There is still time to donate – for more information or to pledge some cash, visit the website at