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Pompey - A Feelgood Football Story

14/08/2013 15:42 BST | Updated 13/10/2013 10:12 BST

For the first time in more than three decades, Portsmouth FC find themselves back in English professional football's bottom division.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the clubs rapid tumble down the leagues is anything but a cause for celebration - unless of course events are viewed from a Southampton supporters perspective.

So, why the upbeat mood in the blue part of Hampshire?

Well, after years of chronic financial mismanagement and a succession of, to put it politely, less than altruistic owners, Pompey fans have, themselves, wrestled their club back from the brink of liquidation.

Critics would probably suggest that Portsmouth supporters weren't complaining too much when previous owners were throwing money around like confetti on a succession of high profile signings with matching salaries during their premier league days.

Likewise, expect a less than effusive response to Pompeys return to health from the many creditors left high and dry due to the recklessness of previous occupants of the Fratton Park boardroom.

Such criticism, however, seems more than a tad harsh on those currently steering the clubs course. Whilst a 'seat of the pants' existence clearly came at a very high price, it was scarcely the fault of Pompey fans for drinking up the heady brew of relative success for the first time in generations.

The story of Portsmouths near demise has been catalogued in huge depth and by far better scribes than me over the past few years. What is truly uplifting is the refusal of the Portsmouth fans to let their club die when, frankly, it looked a hopeless cause.

When it was confirmed, last Spring, that the Pompey Supporters Trust had finalised a deal to save the club, it was the culmination of enormous amounts of hardwork. As each hurdle was placed in front of them, those heading the trusts rescue bid held their nerve and fought to keep a pivotal part of their local community alive.

A supporters share issue raised around £2m - an extraordinary effort given the economic climate. In addition, several individual fans invested six figures sums. Once the deal to take over the club was completed, a campaign from the new board for fans to buy season tickets in large numbers, despite the clubs reduced league status, has been a resounding success too. So far more than 10,000 have been purchased. Similarly, an impressive crowd, in excess of 18,000, turned up for Portsmouths opening league two home fixture.

Those now running Pompey are also very keen to ensure that it lives up to its billing as 'a community club.' There are plans to run it in an entirely open and transparent way and already the club is involved with a variety of projects aimed at cementing the football club as the heartbeat of the city.

There will undoubtedly be stiff challenges facing the fan owned club, both on and off the pitch, but in a game, at the top level, often lost in moronic hyperbole and greed, Portsmouths recovery is a reminder than a slide down the leagues needn't be a time for despondency.

Just 'getting your club back' equals victory in itself.