Portsmouth FC Information
Fratton Park, Frogmore Road, Portsmouth. PO4 8RA
Portsmouth FC History
Founded in 1898, Portsmouth
Football Club are an English association football club, based in
the south coast city port of Portsmouth. The club is nicknamed
Pompey, and is currently playing in the Premier League. The club
is owned by Serbian-American businessman Milan Mandaric. The
best known chant from the Pompey supporters is the "Pompey
Chimes" ("Play up Pompey, Pompey play up" sung to the tune of a
Former Olympique de Marseille coach Alain Perrin was appointed
team manager on April 7, 2005 with a two-year contract.
Portsmouth enjoy a fierce rivalry with Southampton F.C.; despite
Southampton being in a superior division for much of the 1980s
and 90s, this derby was recently reignited by Portsmouth's
promotion to the Premiership in 2003.
The club's biggest recent achievement came on 27 April 2003 when
Pompey beat Rotherham 3-2 to clinch the First Division
championship with a game in hand, giving the club promotion to
the Premier League for the first time in its history.
The 2004/05 season sees Portsmouth playing in the Premier League
for the second successive season.
The club was founded in 1898, with John Brickwood as chairman.
Frank Brettell was appointed as the club's first manager.
The club's first league match was played at Chatham Town F.C. on
2nd September 1899 (a 1-0 victory), followed three days later by
the first match at Fratton Park against local rivals Southampton.
That first season was hugely successful, with the club winning
20 out of 28 league matches, earning them runners-up spot in the
Southern League. The league was won for the first time in the
1901/1902 season, by which time Brettell had been replaced by
club captain Bob Blyth as manager.
The 1906/07 season was highlighted by the visit of giants
Manchester United F.C. to Fratton Park in the English Cup, which
generated a record attendance of 24,329. A 2-2 draw meant a
replay in Manchester, and Portsmouth recorded a famous 2-1 win.
However, this record attendance was surpassed two seasons later
when Sheffield Wednesday F.C. visited Fratton for the second
round of the new FA Cup.
1910/11 saw Portsmouth relegated, but with the recruitment of
Bob Brown as manager the team were promted the next season.
Football was suspended during World War I, but following the
resumption of matches Portsmouth won the Southern League for the
second time. Continuing success saw them in the Third Division
for the 1920/21 season. They finished 12th that year, but won
the league in the 1923/24 season. The club continued to perform
well in the Second Division, winning promotion by finishing 2nd
in the 1926/27 season, gaining a record 9-1 win over Notts
County F.C. along the way.
Portsmouth's debut season in the First Division was a struggle.
The next season they continued to falter, losing 10-0 to
Leicester City F.C., still a club record defeat. However,
despite their failings in the league that season also saw
Portsmouth reach the FA Cup final for the first time, which they
lost to Bolton Wanderers F.C..
Portsmouth managed to survive relegation, and their fortunes
began to change. In the 1930/31 season the club finished 4th.
The 1933/34 season saw Portsmouth again reach the FA Cup final,
beating Manchester United, Bolton Wanderers, Leicester and
Birmingham City F.C. on the way. Unfortunatly the club was again
defeated in the final, this time to Manchester City F.C.
Having established themselves in the top flight, the 1938/39
season saw Portsmouth reach their third FA Cup final. This time
the club managed to defeat the favourites, Wolverhampton
Wanderers F.C., convincingly.
Football was again suspended due to World War II, meaning Pompey
hold the dubious distinction of holding the FA Cup for the
longest period as the trophy wasn't contested again until the
League football resumed for the 1946/47 campaign. In Pompey's
Golden Jubilee season of 1948/49, the club were tipped to be the
first team of the 20th Century to win the League and Cup double.
However, Pompey crashed out of the FA Cup in the semi final
against Leicester, but made up for it by claiming the league
title in spectacular fashion. That season also saw a record
attendance of 51,385, a record which still stands to this day.
The club retained the title the following year, beating Aston
Villa F.C. 5-1 on the last day of the season.
Pompey enjoyed a fourth-place finish in 1951/52, but in the
summer of 1952 championship-winning manager Bob Jackson left for
Hull City F.C. The players who had featured in the club's recent
successes were now ageing and the young players coming into the
side were not of comparable quality. Although the team finished
third in 1954/55, subsequent seasons saw Pompey struggle and
they were relegated to the Second Division in 1959. 1961 saw the
now cash-strapped club relegated to the Third Division, but
Pompey bounced straight back as champions the following year.
A decade of mediocre performances in the Second Division
followed, and despite the cash injection that accompanied the
arrival of John Deacon as chairman in 1972 Pompey's fortunes
failed to improve. With Deacon unable to continue bankrolling
the club on the same scale, Pompey were relegated to the Third
Division in 1976.
In November 1976 the club found itself needing to raise GBP
25,000 to pay off debts and so avoid bankruptcy. The money was
raised from supporter contributions after a campaign led by the
local newspaper The News.
With players having to be sold to ease the club's financial
situation, and no money available for replacements, Pompey were
forced to rely on inexperienced young players and were relegated
to the Fourth Division in 1978.
Pompey were promoted two years later, and in the 1982/83 season
they won the Third Division championship, gaining promotion back
to the Second Division.
Under Alan Ball's management, Pompey narrowly missed winning
promotion to the First Division twice before finally succeeding
in 1986/87. Unfortunately, by the middle of the 1987/88 season
the club was again in grave financial trouble, and Pompey were
relegated straight back to the Second Division. The summer of
1988 saw Deacon sell the club to London based businessman Jim
Jim Smith's arrival as manager at the start of the 1991/92
season, combined with the emergence of some good young players,
sparked a revival in the team's fortunes and that year Pompey
reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, losing on penalties to
Liverpool F.C. after a replay. The following season, Pompey
missed out on promotion to the FA Premier League only by virtue
of having scored one less goal than West Ham United F.C.
Chairman Gregory now called in the money he had lent the club
over preceding seasons, and so players were sold with little
funds available to buy replacements. The team's form declined,
and Smith was controversially sacked in 1995 and replaced by
Terry Fenwick. Relegation to the Second Division was avoided on
the last day of the 1995/96 season when Pompey won away to
Huddersfield Town F.C. while other results went the club's way.
In the summer of 1996 Terry Venables arrived at Pompey as a
consultant, later taking over as chairman after buying the club
for GBP 1. The team enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals of the
FA Cup in 1996/97, beating FA Premier League side Leeds United
F.C. en route, but finished just short of the qualifying places
for the play-offs for promotion to the Premier League. The
1997/98 season saw Venables lose his popularity with the club's
supporters, as he signed several Australian players, most of
whom failed to perform with much distinction, while his role as
coach of the Australian national team meant he was frequently
absent from Portsmouth; meanwhile, the team's results were poor.
Two-thirds of the way through the season he and unpopular
manager Fenwick left the club, Venables selling his shareholding
back to Martin Gregory, son of former chairman Jim, while Alan
Ball returned as manager. Relegation was again avoided on the
last day of the season.
The following season saw the club again dogged by financial
trouble, and in December 1998 Pompey went into administration.
The club was saved by Mandaric buying it in May 1999, and the
new chairman immediately started investing. However, it wasn't
until the appointment of Harry Redknapp as manager, with former
Pompey manager Jim Smith as his assistant, in early 2002 that
the club's fortunes really turned around. In Redknapp's first
full season in charge, (2002/03), he brought in experienced
Premiership players such as Steve Stone and Paul Merson. Pompey
stormed the league, and the club tipped for relegation surprised
many by comfortably winning the title.
The following season Pompey were favourites for relegation from
the top-flight, but following some inspired signings such as
veteran Teddy Sheringham, the club embarked on an impressive
run, finally finishing in 13th place in their debut Premiership
season. Throughout the season Portsmouth's home form, at
Fortress Fratton, was on a par with the top 3 teams, but their
poor away form, winning only twice all season, was responsible
for their mid-table finish.
This theme continued into the 2004/05 season, with Portsmouth's
home form not being matched on their travels. That season also
saw the start of construction both on the new stadium, and on
the club's first ever youth academy.
However, Mandaric and Redknapp clashed several times during
their time together. At the start of the 2004/05 season, it was
rumoured that Mandaric was considering replacing some of the
club's coaching staff, including Redknapp's assistant Jim Smith.
Although no changes took place, the two clashed again more
seriously when Mandaric proposed appointing another director in
November, with responsibility for the youth set-up at the club.
Redknapp made comments to the media showing his disapproval of
the proposal, but Mandaric pressed ahead and appointed Velimir
Zajec. Redknapp, along with his assistant Jim Smith,
subsequently resigned with immediate effect on 23rd November.
Zajec took over as manager, initially as caretaker, then on 20th
December the club announced that he would manage the team for
the remainder of the season. However, after a poor run of
results Alain Perrin was appointed team manager on 7 April 2005,
with Zajec reverting to his director's role.
Portsmouth FC Honours, Trophies & Awards
- FA Cup
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