After a difficult few years, Portsmouth are flying in high in League Two as they look to finally start climbing the Football League ladder and return to the top flight.
Unbelievably, Portsmouth were only relegated from the Premier League in 2010 and they have fallen down to the fourth tier of English football because of their financial issues.
In April 2013, the Pompey Supporters’ Trust (PST) officially purchased the club and although they were relegated to League Two, their has been steady progress under the fans’ ownership on and off the pitch.
In September of last year, the club cleared themselves of any debt and and after some difficult seasons on the pitch, they now look set to finally start climbing the Football League again.
They’ve had four managers since the PST took over, including two former players in Guy Whittingham and Andy Awford as well as highly-rated coaches in Richie Barker and the current boss Paul Cook.
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Whittingham was sacked after just seven months after they took over with just 11 wins from his 51 games in charge. Richie Barker’s tenure was short but far from sweet as he took charge of just 20 games, winning just 4, drawing 8 and losing 8.
Then the reigns were handed to club legend Awford, who played over 300 times for Pompey between 1989 and 2000 but he departed in April after just over a year in the role where he guided the club to 13th and 16th position in League Two.
However under Paul Cook, things finally start like looking up. Convincing the 48-year old to leave Chesterfield just after their defeat in the League One play-off semi-final to drop back down to League Two shows just how big the club is, despite their lack of success in recent seasons.
The Liverpudlian was able to add some genuine quality to his side this summer with the likes of Gary Roberts, Adam McGurk and Michael Doyle all arriving. Combine that with highly-rated youth players coming through Pompey’s esteemed academy, particularly striker Conor Chaplin who has 5 goals already this season.
The 18-year old is the club’s top goal scorer with the experienced Matt Tubbs and with a combination of hugely talented youth players, as well as the experience and know-how that the likes of Tubbs and Roberts bring to the table, Portsmouth are in a good position to bounce back to League One.
While Pompey fans undoubtedly dream of a return to the promised land, it is going to take some time to achieve but the club is certainly in the right hands with the PST in charge of the club. With investment into quality players, as well as continued belief in the academy, Portsmouth’s return to the Premier League will undoubtedly happen.
The future is certainly bright for Pompey after a difficult past few years.
Portsmouth fans……Do you agree? How long do you think it will take for you to get back into the Premier League? Let us know what you think in the comments below!