Date:Sunday March 30 2008
Sasha Gaydamak is not seen that often, let alone heard from - but in an in depth interview with today's Sunday Mirror both he and Peter Storrie have had plenty to say…
Gaydamak says that he has no intention of selling Pompey anytime soon and only an 'obscene' offer would see him to do this, and the giant strides we have made forward - and they have been phenomenal over the past few years - are just the start: 'I have not sold the club and I have not actively sought to find a buyer. I'm in this for the long haul. What has been achieved is just the start.
'We are working towards the start of building a new training ground and stadium, and I can assure you that unless someone suddenly came and offered me an obscene amount of money I have no plans to sell up any day soon.
'I take speculation about the possible sale of Portsmouth as a compliment. It must mean we are making immense progress. We must be doing something right.
'Let's face it - there are only 20 Premier League clubs and there are a lot of people who want to buy into that. Unfortunately, they will not meet with much success trying to buy this club'.
Storrie said that the plans that the club have are long term ones, and these involve all connected to the club. He said that work is 'due' to start on our proposed new training facility in the summer and the plans for the much coveted new stadium are 'well in advance'.
As said our growth over the past 5 years, especially in the past couple has been the stuff beyond our wildest imaginations really. We can very nearly call ourselves an established 'top 10' premier league side and we are in the FA cup semi finals, with the chance of our first major domestic silverware in more than 50 years! All of this makes Gaydamak immensely proud, he added: 'Naturally I am delighted that we are playing for a place in the Cup Final, and on a personal note, right or wrong, it is a feeling of success and vindication.
'There were many people who laughed at us, claimed we had invested in a team of pensioners who would take us absolutely nowhere. Not so.
'To see the progress we have made on and off the pitch is remarkable and to play at Wembley is a dream I never realistically expected to fulfil in such a short space of time.
'Of course I'm emotional. Who wouldn't be? But I could do with getting the game out of the way because I think I'm getting on my wife's nerves talking about it every day'.
It is no secret that I am very pro-Redknapp, yep he winds me up beyond belief at times, but then again what manager would not? Gaydamak attributes much of the success we have been having, and will continue to hopefully have to Harry Redknapp, although he did fear he was going to leave for Newcastle: 'Harry is a fantastic manager. He is priceless. The players that come to this club and perform on the pitch do so because of the manager. But I was powerless to stop him going to Newcastle.
'I was on the phone to him non-stop when they made an official approach for him but if you are asking me to be honest about it, I genuinely feared he was leaving'.
Storrie shared these views, going as far as to say it would have been 'catastrophic' had he left, which although no one is irreplaceable replacing him would have been some challenge… as we have found before!
To finish with Gaydamak again reiterated the fact that his intention is to see the club continue to move forward, and his plans are big: 'as a club we will continue to evolve.
'We won't stand still. We want to play in Europe and eventually challenge the top-four clubs.
'It may sound unrealistic, but if you had asked any Portsmouth supporter if they expected to find themselves where we are today, they would have probably laughed in your face'.
I really hope that we can continue to move forward, I will be honest - and think that I have been quite open with this - I have been unsure on the financial status of Gaydamak, I have swayed back and forth on the 'does he have the funds available issue to make what we, and he wants possible' - in all honesty I still do not have a firm idea either way, but you know what fellas lets just enjoy the times we are having, we are the best fans in the world so I think we deserve this, so lets just enjoy the good times while we can eh!
It has not always been easy getting to where we are now, some decisions have been made, and things done - and probably will again - that we might not have liked but I am of the honest opinion that these are done and made in the best interests of Portsmouth football club to get us up with the very best one day hopefully? Yep, football is a business but if we are successful as a business we will inevitably be successful as a football club too, something that I want so long as the heart and soul of this fantastic club is not lost along the way…
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Sunday March 30 2008
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