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Farewell Sacha - Thank you

It was on 4th January 2006 that Milan Mandaric announced that Alexandre 'Sacha' Gaydamak was now a co-owner of the club having bought half of his share in the Pompey. His first move was to make funds available for the manager to purchase Sean Davis, Pedro Mendes and Noe Pamarot from Spurs for a reported £7.5million. This was without doubt the biggest factor in Pompey avoiding the drop from what had seemed a hopeless position.

The next season 2006/07 was to see Pompey finish in their highest league position for over fifty years and come within a referee's whistle of qualifying for European competition for the very first time. Players the like that have not been seen at Fratton Park for many years are signed on such as England Internationals David James, Sol Campbell and Glen Johnson (on loan) along with Croatian 'wonderkid' Niko Kranjcar.

The atmosphere around the club changed, rather than being a club looking just to survive talk was of breaking into the top four. This was further fuelled the following season with even more major signings added to the squad including John Utaka, Sulley Muntari and David Nugent. The club register six successive away wins in the league coming up to Christmas and again when the transfer window opens the Gaydamak cheque book was out and Lassana Diarra and Jermain Defoe were added to the payroll.

On 17th May 2008 it all proved worthwhile and the FA Cup was lifted high into the West London sky by a proud chairman, on a day none of us will ever forget. Ironically it was Kanu, a player bought for nothing that sealed that historic victory.

But at what personal cost was that triumph to Sacha? We were soon to discover the answer. In the close season Peter Crouch was signed but Sulley Muntari and hero Pedro Mendes were sold and then in September the club have to deny the 'For Sale' sign is hanging in Frogmore Road but add that serious offers will be 'considered'. The next month the club's manager also decided to jump ship for what he considered more stable pastures.

As the global economic downturn continues on 7th December, almost exactly to the day two year after taking over total control of the club, Sacha announces it is officially up for sale and Diarra and Defoe as sold soon after.

So Sacha's short term at the helm has been a real roller-coaster ride with over £100 million of players being bought and sold. The media have never taken a liking to him, always intimating that he has using his father Arcadia's money to bankroll him. His father even once listed Pompey among his assets in the Israeli press.

It is all over now and while some fans want the club to continue full steam ahead, the majority would welcome a spell of stability followed by slow but sustainable growth.

It is difficult to sum up succinctly the three and a half years that Sacha was at the club and only time will tell whether it was a stepping stone to a long and successful future. One thing I know I can say for all Pompey fans is 'Thanks Sacha and good luck for the future'.

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The Journalist

Writer: eastneydave Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday July 21 2009

Time: 4:04PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I never expected to see Pompey win the cup so i will always thank Sacha for making that happen. Good luck Sacha.
Steve C
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21/07/2009 16:28:00

Yep. thanks mate !
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21/07/2009 16:33:00

It is reported on some media websites that if this deal didnt happen then standard bank would have called in the administrators on Pompey, this is now not going to happen thank god!! But it makes you think how good/bad Sacha is at business, although i am gratefull for the good times that Pompey have had under his ownership i am not so gratefull for his apparent wreckless borrowing that has put us into a position where we have to sell the majority of our assets to try and balance the books. So i thank you Sacha for what you have done for the club and welcome Dr SAF as Pompey prepare to rebuild from the mistakes that have been made. PLAY UP POMPEY !!!
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21/07/2009 16:33:00

Well Tommo, without Sacha's wreckless borrowing, we would not have had the assets to sell in the first place, so I don't know what you are trying to say. I think we can say thank you to Sacha for three good years. These were years when we went for instant gratification instead of building. But when you realise who was at the helm during that time, then you will understand how it happened.
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21/07/2009 16:41:00

HR's lapdog I'm afraid. Didn't have the business acumen he needed for the job. All short termism which brought us to the brink of bankrupsy. Forget him, like he did us, and lets move on with some stability and a future.
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21/07/2009 16:44:00

I understand how it happened but as the owner you should know the state of your books and have more control of the finances. Im not knocking the success we've had dont get me wrong however we have now had to pay the price of overspending on transfers and wages. What i am saying is that i am gratefull for the success but before todays takeover Pompeys finances where a shambles and theres no doubting this, we've had to sell a lot of players from January last season to cover this.
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21/07/2009 16:49:00

Toronto, I would suggest a little caution as to what they report in the papers too mate. After all, I recall reading that the bank loan was a personal loan to Gaydamak personally, not the club. Anyway, much as Steve said, I never imagined that I would walk out and support my beloved Pompey at Wembley, and here I am having done it more than once. The last few years have been fantastic, and lets hope for more of the same, but with maybe a little more security too! Nights like Milan will not be forgotten in a long long time, and Wembley? - I still get a shiver thinking back to how I grabbed my son by both shoulders shaking him and screaming "We did it, We did it, We've won the bloody Cup!" He still thinks I am mad because he only started supporting in the championship. Those of us that remember Moody's Coffin in the middle of the park, and gave to save the club will never forget where we have come from. Lets take it slow and steady, lets stay safe financially and in football terms, and lets push on. Thanks Sacha, you given so much, I just hope you have honoured your promise to sell to someone who can continue to take us forward, thanks and goodnight!
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21/07/2009 16:50:00

Praise the man all you want, he totally messed up your club and you don't even know it. He's probably milked millions out the back door and built up debt which he now passes on to some other clown. Also his dad was a russian gangster and has used your club to launder money.
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21/07/2009 16:53:00

Also Pompy are a small club and should not have ambitions of breaking anything, win a cup every 20-30 years is about all your worth
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21/07/2009 16:55:00

New Peter Storie interview now up on Pompey website.
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21/07/2009 17:03:00

TheHolten... your funny. great jokes.
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21/07/2009 17:24:00

Ooh - is there some jealousy that we have a new owner? Are we not allowed to say thankyou and goodbye to the man who took us to new heights, and has left us, just, with a new man to take us onwards and upwards. Because I do want to thank Sacha for what he's done for Pompey - from the bottom of my heart. And I don't care what any non-Pompey supporters have to say about that.
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21/07/2009 17:30:00

Lets be honest about this, there were certainly mistakes made in running the club but Sacha appointed Jackanory Storrie to oversee the day to day running of the club and thats where the blame should lie. Unfortunately the Dr sees fit to leave Storrie in the same position i hope he keeps a closer eye on things.
Steve C
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21/07/2009 17:37:00

Thanks you ever so much Sacha, because of you, we won the Fa Cup and play world class teams, like AC Milan on our european adventures. Also thank you for buying great players like Crouchie and Johnson. Thank you again and good luck to what ever you do next.
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21/07/2009 17:52:00

Sacha thank you very much, i always dreamed of Wembley and some of the players you brought to the club. Whatever you do , good luck, and we will never forget you
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21/07/2009 18:54:00

I think sasha is as much a victim of the global crunch as the rest; thanks Sasha, risky times at the end but plenty plenty good times that I never thought I'd see. Thanks again and good luck
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21/07/2009 19:15:00

Well very easy to find fault but during his ownership, we had our greatest ever day. Having waited over 30 years & thinking it would never happen, I will be forever grateful. The quality in quantity of the players that arrived is mind blowing. I thank you.
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21/07/2009 20:32:00

Agree with Storagematt that it is really easy to find fault after the event - but we WON the FA Cup and hosted AC Milan at Fratton Park ... unbelievable in the dark times of the Deacon days & the Gregory era - so what Sacha helped PFC achieve should never be forgotten. Thanks - wherever the money came from - at least I enjoyed it
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21/07/2009 21:26:00

Me too Highland.. He made one of my dreams come true .. i won't be able to say that about many people when I fade from this mortal coil - Cheers Sash !
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21/07/2009 23:14:00

TheHolten, Fck off.
Pompey Malta
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21/07/2009 23:16:00

Sacha gambled the club on a property deal. Although we've had a brilliant couple of years, we almost didn't make it as a result. I have to say that I will never forget that we won the cup and had a nice time in the sun, but it almost cost us everything, and for that Sacha deserves to be criticised - like it or not.
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22/07/2009 01:55:00

Sacha is still on the board, he has'nt gone anywhere!
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22/07/2009 13:22:00

Quite right doggo. When I wrote the article it had not been announced that he would remain on the board for the time being.
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22/07/2009 18:57:00

nxt time don't give someone who shudnt be allowed to play fifa09 let alone a fc unsupervized a cheque book. get ur money and po from pfc
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24/07/2009 08:42:00

We need him to stay on the board for a bit to help Dr SAF get to grips with how to run the club and how to behave as chairman. He's not quite got the legendary status of Milan but he's not far off.
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25/07/2009 16:18:00

Sacha paid his money and he took his chance. It did not work out for him. The fact that we won the cup under his auspices is neither here nor there for me. If he really cared about the club, he wouldn't be doing what he is doing now. Its all about money at the end of the day. I don't blame him for his stance, there is a lot of money at stake, but he does not have my undying gratitude either.
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05/08/2009 20:41:00


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