A winding-up order? It could be the start of something great
Pompey fans are understandably fearful that their club enter liquidation next week but, as AFC Wimbledon fan Niall Couper explains, it won't be the end of the world
Saturday 13 February 2010
For those Pompey fans staring, grim-faced, into their cereal this morning praying for a minor miracle before next Wednesday, it may seem a strange thing to say. But I believe a winding-up order could be the best thing that has ever happened to them.
Let's face it, Portsmouth are in a mess – and the only people who really seem to care about the club are the fans. So I say forget it all and start again.
It could be the greatest journey. I know – I've been there.
I'm an AFC Wimbledon fan. I will always remember being in the room when a bunch of naive South Londoners filled in a London FA form to formally register the club. Eight years on and that same club is now plying its trade in the Conference having been promoted four times.
Yes, I'd be lying if I said I don't miss turning over the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and, most of all, Chelsea – but since AFC Wimbledon emerged from an FA Commission's decision to allow my club to be stolen away eight years ago I have gained so much more.
I now support a club bedded in the local community. It is run by the fans and for the fans. Gone are the days of dodgy owners – and Pompey have had more than their fair share of those. Gone are the days of players with huge egos. Each new AFC Wimbledon player undergoes an initiation into the club that stresses its ethos, its commitment to fan ownership and its fervent opposition to football franchising. I seriously doubt Sol Campbell ever underwent such a similar experience at Fratton Park.
AFC Wimbledon also owns its own ground – bought by the fans – and now gets attendances around the 4,000 mark. Indeed, when we played Luton earlier this season our attendance was higher than the equivalent fixture years ago in the top flight.
Yes, there are huge logistic problems in setting up your own club, but there is help to be found through the likes of Supporters Direct, the masterminds of the growing Supporters Trust movement across the country.
Pompey fans should get in touch with them now, get organised and go for it. After all, Wimbledon were never the biggest club – and look what we have achieved. Portsmouth are a far bigger club than we ever were – just imagine what AFC Portsmouth could do.
Niall Couper is the author of The Spirit of Wimbledon and a former Dons Trust Board member
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity
Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94
Latest in Sport
Phil Hughes injury: Cricket world reels as Australian opener 'fights for his life'
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund player ratings: Who was the star man at the Emirates? Alexis Sanchez? Santi Cazorla? Or Yaya Sanogo?
Phil Hughes: A swashbuckling, raw and talented batsman who had the world at his feet
Phil Hughes dead: List of players who have tragically died on the cricket pitch
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund report: Yaya Sanogo and Alexis Sanchez are on target as Gunners secure impressive victory
- 1 Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
- 3 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 5 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'