Date:Friday July 21 2006
As sure as night follows days, and all things eventually end, as thoughts now turn to the potentially exciting times and future ahead you still can`t help but feel sad that the Milan Mandaric era is now over following his decision to sell his final retaining stake in the club to Alexandre Gaydamak.
The thanks and gratitude that all connected to Pompey past, present or future owe Milan can not be expressed enough. Following years of darkness and depression both on and off the field, despite a few highlights here and there, when he arrived in 1998 he brought with him a ray of hope, which has only grown into a beacon and lit up the area.
Without Milan this club, which is being linked to almost every player in the market (and off it!) may not even be here, let alone playing in the World`s biggest, and best league. Arriving at a time when some even worried about the club`s existence, with some already turning thoughts to how the club could be resurrected and reformed his vision and ideas saved and rejuvenated Pompey. He has delivered on almost all of his promises, and gave us something that not many fans in their heart of hearts could really have believed would happen, without doubt as quickly as it did, Premiership football. Obviously a lot of credit has to be given to Harry Redknapp, but without Milan he wouldn`t have even been here either. How would we have ever seen the greatest player I`ve personally ever seen in a Pompey shirt Robert Prosinecki, the likes of Paul Merson and Teddy Sheringham.
Some may not always have agreed with his decisions, but he has always done what he felt in the best interests of the club. How many would have had the balls to bring a man back from their fiercest of rivals, when he brought Harry back from Southampton to save us last season, and even admit they were wrong in letting him go and admit they were partially wrong with subsequent appointments? Not many.
If Gaydamak has fallen in love with the club as much as he says, shares half the enthusiasm and commitment Milan has then we couldn`t be in safer hands, the money and talk he is giving seems to back this up, but I still hope Milan retains some connection with the club for many years to come as he says he will.
One thing that is sure Milan will always retain his 100% stake in all of our hearts, thanks for everything Milan.
Milan, there`s only one Milan…
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