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A new, new, new era beckons...?



Portsmouth Football Club on Wednesday announced that the takeover by Convers Sports Initiatives had gone through, making Vladimir Antonov the club's fifth owner in as many years.

However fans' of the club are excited at the prospect of new beginnings at Fratton Park, Antonov has urged fans' to give CSI time to get their feet under the table, and make necessary changes ahead of the new season.

The deal sees Antonov take an 85% stake in the company, with business partner Roman Dubov owning 10%, and former Leeds United chairman Chris Akers controlling the remaining stake in the business, all looking to play their part on rebuilding the club.

On his personal Facebook account, he wrote: 'Guys I fully respect your questions but before we will have a big press conference we need to fix immediate issues such as squad and some works with the arena. Hope you understand this. Give us a chance to do our job without noise around. Thanks a lot! Play up Pompey! We will be back with our plans shortly!'

This response from the club's new chief will come as a sigh of relief to the supporters, who will be looking for a slow, stable uprooting of their club following administration and relegation from the Premier League in 2010.

Portsmouth and its fans' know first hand how poor financial management and an open cheque book can ultimately lead to disaster, with millions splashed on some of the world's top footballers in order to win the FA Cup in 2008, under the stewardship of fellow-Russian investor Sacha Gaydamak.

However, with the fixtures for the new season released in just 15 days time, the club need to move swiftly to bring in players to help them compete for a return to the Premier League; a return that the new owners seem keen on, commenting on the club's official website: 'We ultimately selected Portsmouth Football Club because of its history, loyal fan base and its potential to return to the Premier League.'

With just eight first-team players on board for the 2011/2012 campaign, manager Steve Cotterill will be hoping to finalise the two players which he has had 'on hold' for the past week, with speculation rife that those names are former Ipswich midfielder David Norris, and striker Jason Roberts, who previously played for the Blues in the 2003/2004 season.

The club will be also looking to replace key players Richard Hughes, Michael Brown and Danny Webber, all released by Pompey at the end of the season. Brown and Hughes missed much of last season through contract dispute, leaving Cotterill struggling to field a strong first eleven.

This, coupled with the owners want to improve Fratton Park will be a welcome sigh of relief to many supporters, who have been promised improved facilities for over ten years. The 20,821 seater stadium has needed updating for over years, with many fans' hoping to keep the traditional stadium rather than move to a new site.

Fratton Park is one of just a few old-fashioned stadiums still standing in England's domestic leagues, so keeping the ground in a similar state to what it is now is imperative, if only just keeping the Fratton End, or the 'Pompey 1898' entrance to the ground.

Brett's Babble:

For me, this takeover is the start of a new era for Portsmouth - it's just a shame that we've had so many of those in the past few years that the phrase has been used more than Hughesy this season.

Most importantly though, I took kindly to the words of new owner Vladimir Antonov, highlighting that they need to get on with the job of restructuring the club, the squad and the stadium before blowing hot air up their own backsides in the media.

We've had far too many 'owners' come in, lay out big plans to sign high-profile footballers and give us floating stadiums; so it's very refreshing to have a group of people come into our club, notice the cracks on the walls (unfortunately, literally...) and know exactly what they need to do, being careful not to get fans' hopes up.

We need at least ten players, in my opinion. I'd love to see us go for the likes of Jay Bothroyd (who seems all-but Everton bound), Craig Mackail-Smith and George Boyd of Peterborough United, as well as Nigel Reo-Coker and David Norris - whose signing seems imminent if you believe the local papers.

I've rated the Peterborough pair for a couple of years now, and feel that they could offer us a great addition up top - not just with the rest of the squad but the fact they've played together for a number of years. That, as well as Bothroyd would offer us enough fire-power up front to challenge for the league, but not cost the club too much money; with the former-Cardiff striker released early last week.

Among those released recently was Darryl Flahavan, who was on contact with Pompey on a rolling monthly deal, however his exit at Fratton Park will leave Cotterill looking for a new back-up for Jamie Ashdown, a player that would challenge the former-Reading stopper for the number one shirt this campaign.

Cotterill admitted in the Portsmouth Evening News recently that he admired Ashdown, although felt he needed to do more should Pompey challenge at the top-end of the Npower Championship - so he will be on the lookout for one good enough to keep him on his toes.

Until next time,

Dan Brett.
Twitter - @DanBrett90

Written by Dan Brett.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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The Journalist

Writer: Dan Brett Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday June 2 2011

Time: 9:15AM

Your Comments

yea we live in hope that finally the club can be run in the right way, and i have high hopes for this lot with the experience of Akers. As for players i think you might have been a bit over ambitious with Craig Mackail-Smith and Bothroyd both seemed destined to the Prem and i don't really see why they'd choose us over Prem football apart from money - but we don't want to go down that path again - if either was at all possible it would be an amazing coupe for the club, but theres plenty of really good frees to choose from, so i'm really looking forward to the transfer window and the rest of the off season for the 1st time in awhile lol
pompeym@
Good shout David, lets all hope it is not another farce. I am getting pretty fed up with the various comedy of errors that have plagued Pompey recently. One of teh main things the owners will have to do pretty quickly is repair Pompey's reputation in business and in the Football community, which will not be an easy task.
khodgkins
A very good article. I cannot see Bothroyd coming to Fratton Park, especially if he is Premier-bound. Let us just hope these guys have a plan in mind that takes us "on a different level"! :) PuP
Pompey Malta
I have followed this site for years as a spectator and avid reader and enjoy it immensely, some great views and banter - so here is my first "post", go easy on me! I'm sure most readers are like me in that I feel battle-weary with the constant circus around Pompey in the last 2 years. Negativity is draining. I have read the views on CSI and share the sentiment of caution as we move (hopefully) forward. Whatever our views I feel we should welcome our new owners and not forget that we do owe a debt of thanks to Mr Chainrai and co. We all want the very best for our fantastic football club, but at least we still have one and that should never, ever, be forgotten. My wish-list would be simple and I would not even be that concerned if we didn't spend on new players and just went for the freebies and loans, we just have to get it right this time and build a long lasting legacy over time. No quick wins. 1. Longevity of ownership - lets hope CSI go about re-building our club in the right way and have a ten year plan to reconstruct from the bottom up. Training facilities, youth development, community involvement and income generation. 2. A viable/signed off stadium plan of 30,000 capacity. Either where we currently sit or new location. We simply have to do this, we are a laughing stock in the modern game. Our near neighbours Brighton & H.A. have given the whole of football a glowing example of how to build from the bottom up. In a similar position to us over a decade ago, they have had average gates of 6,000 for the last ten years, way below ours and have just sold out a 25,000 seater gem of a stadium next year, built on solid investment, community partnership and income generation through profitable player development and sales. 3. An academy to be truly proud of. Again, much as it pains me to say it, near neighbours (SFC) have one of the best academy's in England. Some come through to the first team and then get sold, but for big money and like it or not, it is THE best way to generate income and re-invest in the club. 4. The supporters to step up and play their part, especially the fair-weather types and there are too many of them. Turn up to games and get behind the team and the manager. The club need to play their part in this too and offer better incentive schemes to attend especially when it comes to bringing your kids along. I hate seeing a half full stadium, certain games should be free to bring kids along and fill those empty seats. Sadly I predict in the next few years that B&HA/SFC will go past us and make us look like poor relations, BUT, we are the biggest club by far and if CSI get this right, then in time we will be back and it will be for good! Build us a giant club CSI, it can be done!! Play Up Pompey.
drfrattonizer
drfrattonizer, my god I think you have written more in youre first post than I have on all of mine,lol. Some good points made by all but i think we are all in agreement that we just want some sound financial footings, and a solid base upon which we can build a new dynasty on. Short term new players urgently long term stability and re building at a rate the club can afford.
JASON R
Its ok Brett. I've met them, im to tell you all "They're gonna take us to another level" ! DOH :-0. . . . . We should wait and see what they say in the next 3 -4 weeks time, wouldn't anticipate much if any detail before then.
russellm
I have followed this site for years as a spectator and avid reader and enjoy it immensely, some great views and banter - so here is my first "post", go easy on me! I'm sure most readers are like me in that I feel battle-weary with the constant circus around Pompey in the last 2 years. Negativity is draining. I have read the views on CSI and share the sentiment of caution as we move (hopefully) forward. Whatever our views I feel we should welcome our new owners and not forget that we do owe a debt of thanks to Mr Chainrai and co. We all want the very best for our fantastic football club, but at least we still have one and that should never, ever, be forgotten. My wish-list would be simple and I would not even be that concerned if we didn't spend on new players and just went for the freebies and loans, we just have to get it right this time and build a long lasting legacy over time. No quick wins. 1. Longevity of ownership - lets hope CSI go about re-building our club in the right way and have a ten year plan to reconstruct from the bottom up. Training facilities, youth development, community involvement and income generation. 2. A viable/signed off stadium plan of 30,000 capacity. Either where we currently sit or new location. We simply have to do this, we are a laughing stock in the modern game. Our near neighbours Brighton & H.A. have given the whole of football a glowing example of how to build from the bottom up. In a similar position to us over a decade ago, they have had average gates of 6,000 for the last ten years, way below ours and have just sold out a 25,000 seater gem of a stadium next year, built on solid investment, community partnership and income generation through profitable player development and sales. 3. An academy to be truly proud of. Again, much as it pains me to say it, near neighbours (SFC) have one of the best academy's in England. Some come through to the first team and then get sold, but for big money and like it or not, it is THE best way to generate income and re-invest in the club. 4. The supporters to step up and play their part, especially the fair-weather types and there are too many of them. Turn up to games and get behind the team and the manager. The club need to play their part in this too and offer better incentive schemes to attend especially when it comes to bringing your kids along. I hate seeing a half full stadium, certain games should be free to bring kids along and fill those empty seats. Sadly I predict in the next few years that B&HA/SFC will go past us and make us look like poor relations, BUT, we are the biggest club by far and if CSI get this right, then in time we will be back and it will be for good! Build us a giant club CSI, it can be done!! Play Up Pompey.
drfrattonizer
drfrattonizer, you are very welcome by all, excellent thought out piece! don't do it again please, we aren't use to proper real grammar n stuff :-0 I'm off to check out wot done of drf's words mean. How many syllables!
russellm
No time to read anything or say anything except I saw the headlines today in the news and have skimmed over some of what you all are saying. I am happy, very happy, so happy I nearly burst into tears in Waitrose when I bought my newspaper!!!! Gotta go now - am going to a tea-party - all the rage now, you know! Welcome Drfrattonizer!
Gandor1
what a way to announce youself drfrattonizer, i do hope this is not a one off post and you return?
how would you feel about me taking that comment and turning into an article, giving you credit?
pompeyrug
Do it Rug, good to meet you (sort of) Drfrattonizer, combines my two favourite sports, fratton park and the Doctor Valentino Rossi, great!
NZ_Portsmuff
Kind words all...many thanks. Apologies for posting my essay twice! Like George Lawrence our striker and bench warmer of a few years back... I was a bit keen when given the nod! Happy for it to be an article pompeyrug. I'm sure it may provoke some hearty debate regarding references to Brighton and the rabble down the road....
drfrattonizer
ok, will do. any ideas for a title? something short(ish) and snappy that will catch the eye would be good! as for the 'pompeyrug' reference, its so formal please just call me rug :-)
pompeyrug
 

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