On This Day: Legend Alan Ball fired by Milan Mandaric as Portsmouth struggle in Division One

Alan Ball was sacked by Pompey for the second time, on this day in 1999.

Monday, 9th December 2019, 12:15 pm
Updated Monday, 9th December 2019, 12:46 pm

The legendary Blues manager saw his second spell at Fratton Park come to a close as Milan Mandaric decided to pull the trigger.

The move to sack Ball came with his side struggling in Division One, just three places and four points in front of bottom club Swindon.

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Mandaric had backed Ball in the transfer market, with £4m spent on players since the Serb millionaire took the club out of administration six months earlier.

The decision to fire the World Cup winner was announced at a press conference by managing director David Deacon, after Mandaric flew in from America for talks.

Ball’s former Arsenal team-mate, Bob McNab, took temporary charge of Pompey as they prepared to take on Sunderland in the FA Cup, with the Black Cats fourth in the Premiership.

The decision ended Ball’s 22-month tenure as manager and came after he saved the club from relegation at the expense of Manchester City and Stoke in the 1997-98 season. Ball kept Pompey in the second tier the following campaign through the club’s financial struggles.

Alan Ball on his second stint as Pompey manager in 1998

Ball, of course, was the man who also guided the Blues to the top flight after a 28-year absence in 1987.