On this day: Milan Mandaric wants Portsmouth fans to back bid to capture Harry Redknapp
On this day in 2005, Milan Mandaric urged supporters to get behind him in his quest to bring back Harry Redknapp.
The Pompey chairman was hoping to agree a compensation package with Southampton, thought to be worth around £200,000, and conclude a deal to bring in Redknapp over the coming days.
But the Serb admitted he had been hurt by criticism as he attempted to bring in the man he believed could save the club’s season.
Mandaric insisted he would have to put personal feelings aside for the good of the club if Redknapp returned – and supporters should do the same.
It is understood Redknapp wanted a return to Pompey, and Southampton had no problem with letting him go as long as they could get the financial package they were looking for.
At the time there was a clear split among fans in the pro and anti-Redknapp camp, with around two thirds of supporters behind him coming back.
But it is the vocal element of those against Redknapp’s return who are hurting the chairman.
Mandaric told The News: ‘I’m exhausted. We are working but there has been no further progress at the moment. We are hopeful something will happen this weekend.
‘I’ve got two hats on. I am a supporter but I need to make the best decision for this club.
‘I’m sad some supporters can’t see I’m trying to do the right thing.
‘But I am the one who has this decision and I am the one who will be judged at the end of the season.
‘We have a lot of loyal supporters but people are saying get this person or that person.
‘People are saying why not get George Burley? George Burley doesn’t want to come here.
‘I have two daughters but I could never make both of them happy as much as I wanted to.
‘I support this club, too, and have to consider what is the best decision.
‘It will not be easy for me to put personal feelings aside over Harry – but if that is what I have to do it’s what I have to do.
‘I’ve got to be honest and make the best decision, and I hope people support me in doing that.’