Portsmouth Club Profile
Portsmouth : Quick Links
Click on the links below to go directly to the relevant parts of the guide :|
We've Met Before;
Directions To The Ground;
Food And Drink;
Portsmouth : Club Background
Can there be too many football clubs who have played at one ground only, across over 100 years of history? Portsmouth were formed in 1898 and have had the same name, and the same ground without a break during that time. They started life a year later in the Southern League with their first league match being played on September 2nd 1899. They won the Southern League in 1902 and 1920 (sandwiching a brief relegation) and the latter win saw them enter the Football League for the first time.
Apart from in the FA Cup, where they managed to reach three finals (1929, 1934 and 1939) their early Football League days were fairly unspectacular, although their 1938-39 Cup Final win over Wolves perhaps gave a taste of what was to happen once World War II got out of the way. They won the 1948-49 and 1949-50 Football League titles - their two and only top flight titles, but making them one of only five clubs to retained a League title since the end of the war. That 'golden era' side featured Ike Clarke, who would go on to manage Yeovil Town and take them to a Southern League and Southern League cup double during the mid-1950s.
Pompey's golden era ended in 1959 when they were relegated to second tier football, and it would take almost 30 years before they could restore that top flight status. In between that we had the start of what has been a theme of Pompey's modern era - financial problems and bankruptcy fears. November 1976 saw them needing to raise £25,000 to avoid being wound up - a comical amount given the debts they were to later mount up - but with off the field issues dominating they slipped down to the Fourth Division in 1978.
Former World Cup winner Alan Ball took Portsmouth back up to the First Division (top flight) in 1986-87. But changes of ownership and management meant that Pompey never really looked stable. Former QPR Chairman Jim Gregory, then ex-England manager Terry Venables, then Martin Gregory (son of Jim) all owned the club across a ten year period that saw Ball leave, Jim Smith and Terry Fenwick come in as managers, before Ball returned a second time.
By 1998-99, Portsmouth were experiencing their second serious financial crisis, as they fell into receivership. Milan Mandaric commenced what can be considered to be the modern Pompey era by buying the club up at the end of that season, piling money into the club, but getting through another barrel load of managers, with Ball leaving, and Tony Pulis, Steve Claridge and Graham Rix quickly coming and going across a three year period. Then in 2002, in came former West Ham manager Harry Redknapp, and with Mandaric's heavy financial backing Pompey won the Division One Championship in 2002-03 to take them into the Premier League. Despite that, friction between the pair saw them part company, seeing Portsmouth go quickly through the questionable appointments of Velimir Zajec and Joe Jordan.
Redknapp returned in December 2005, having had an ill-fated spell at local rivals Southampton. During his second spell he gave Pompey their first major honours for 58 years - an FA Cup Final win over Cardiff City, and also the first time that the club had qualified for a European competition. Pompey were now on the big stage - or so they thought.
With Mandaric having sold out to French-Israeli Alexandre Gaydamak in the summer of 2006, there had been rumours that Portsmouth's admittedly impressive rise into a top flight force had been built on castles of sand. Redknapp perhaps knew what was on the cards, and bailed out just five months after that FA Cup win, with Tony Adams and then Paul Hart taking charge. Gaydamak sold out in the summer of 2009 to Arab businessman Sulaiman Al-Fahim as the club began a fire sale of players caused by a reported £70 million debt.
By the time the 2009-10 season began, players wages were not being paid, and the club passed through the hands of Saudi Arabian businessman Ali Al-Faraj, of which there has been large speculation as to his actual identity. Pompey were in serious freefall both on and off the field, and they made history by becoming the first Premier League club to go into administration, incurring a nine point penalty on February 26th 2010.
At this point, it would be possible to write a whole book on what was going on at Portsmouth Football Club. Their debts eventually reached a total of £138 million, although even that appeared to be a figure that depended on which day of the week you were referring to, such were the level and layers of debts down at Fratton Park. In October 2010 they were bought out by Conver's Sports Initiatives (CSI), under the ownership of Russian Vladamir Antonov. But stability was to last just 13 months, as Antonov was given a warrant for his arrest under allegations of asset stripping at Lithuanian bank Snoras. CSI fell into administration in November 2011, leaving them without an owner.
It then transpired that Antonov's CSI company had been bankrolling Portsmouth, who were still over-spending, and in January 2012, HMRC issued a winding up order with the club going into administration yet again. This time they were in £58 million worth of debt, and with players earning as much as £36,000 a week it was acutely obvious where that money was draining out from, and in the two years that had passed, no lessons had been learned. A further 10 points deduction for their second administration saw them relegated to League One, and the summer of 2012 saw them face a battle of trying to get their high earners off their books.
By the start of the 2012-13 season, with the exception of a few cheap fringe players and backroom staff they were down to their Youth Team. Still in administration, the Football League has rightly refused to let them sign players for anything more than one month rolling periods, and they will be facing another 10 point deduction if/when they do exit administration, due to their failure to fulfil the terms of their 2010 CVA agreement. At present the hope is that Portsmouth Supporters Trust (PST) can buy out the club, but with so much legacy debt, and former owner and current creditor Balram Chainrai (Portpin) digging his heels in over money he is trying to recoup from the ground he owns, the future is still not clear for the Hampshire club. But if the PST can take over the running of the club, then hopefully Portsmouth can be run on a proper even keel, and they can put behind them the madness that has been the past five years or so. Expect a few more twists and turns though before that happens.
Apart from Ike Clarke above, there is currently another clear Yeovil connection between the two clubs. Current caretaker manager Guy Whittingham was a striker on the club's books when Brian Hall brought him to Huish Park. His 18 goals during the 1988-89 season made him a Yeovil legend, but doubtless embarrassed the Portsmouth scouts, given that Whittingham was in the British Army, and living in Fratton whilst playing for Waterlooville, just up the road from Portsmouth! They eventually realised they'd overlooked him, and took him off Yeovil's hands in the summer of 1989. Much to Yeovil's ire, they didn't receive a penny for the player, due to the striker being unable to sign a contract at Huish as a result of his army registration papers. Nicknamed 'Corporal Punishment' he went on to have three spells with Pompey, with a total of 99 League goals scored. Having managed Newport (Isle of Wight) and AFC Newbury he returned to Portsmouth in 2009 as a development coach, and the club's ongoing financial problems have seen him steadily promoted into the hotseat as interim manager.
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|Portsmouth : We've Met Before|
|Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Portsmouth
|16/07/2005||Home||Frnd||L||2-4||4417||Terry 37, Way 54|
|29/12/2012||Away||NPL1||W||2-1||12370||Blizzard 15, Webster 38|
Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Portsmouth
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Portsmouth : Club Statistics
|29/03/2013||Preston North End||Away||NPL1||D||1-1||9464||Wallace 3|
|01/04/2013||Tranmere Rovers||Home||NPL1||W||1-0||12014||Connolly 53|
|13/04/2013||Brentford||Away||NPL1||L||2-3||9149||Connolly 26, Cooper 58|
|20/04/2013||Sheffield United||Home||NPL1||W||3-0||18433||Cooper 21, Connolly 24, Wallace 32|
|27/04/2013||Shrewsbury Town||Away||NPL1||L||2-3||8021||Harris 61, Agyemang 78|
Highest League Attendance: 18433, vs Sheffield United, 20/04/2013
Lowest League Attendance: 9815, vs Milton Keynes Dons, 26/02/2013
Average League Attendance: 12232
CURRENT LEAGUE SEQUENCE STATISTICS
|Games Without A Win: ||1
||Games Without A Home Win: ||0
|Games Without An Away Win: ||5
||Games Without Defeat: ||0
|Games Without A Home Defeat: ||7
||Games Without An Away Defeat: ||0
|Games Without A Draw: ||3
||Games Without A Score Draw: ||5
|Games Without A No-Score Draw: ||3
||Games Without Scoring: ||0
|Games Without Conceding: ||0
||Home Results Sequence: ||DWWWDW
|Away Results Sequence: ||WLDDLL
||Overall Results Sequence: ||DWDLWL
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Portsmouth : Club Information
(Click for map)
Telephone Number : 023 9273 1204
Fax : 023 9273 4129
Chairman : Club in administration (Administrator Trevor Birch)
Safety Officer : Derek Stone
Media Manager : Neil Weld
Manager : Guy Whittingham (caretaker)
Capacity : 20,688
Seated : 20,688
Covered Terrace : n/a
Record Attendance : 51,385 vs Derby County, FA Cup, 26th February 1949
Colours : Blue shirts, white shorts
Nickname : Pompey
Ticket Prices :
Yeovil Town supporters will be housed in the Milton Road end of the ground, with space allocated for around 2,000 supporters. This is a covered seated area situated behind the goal. However, you should note that this is not purpose-built seating, but a conversion job from the original terraced end, and so general opinion is that the seating can be a bit cramped, and you may have to be a bit choosy about seats that have poor views.
Ticket prices for this 2012-13 season match are as follows:
Adults: £20.00; Over-60s and Aged 17-22: £15.00; Aged 16 and Under: £10.00.
There are no matchday surcharges for this game. Tickets are usually provided to opposition ticket office - we're not sure at this stage if they've reached the Huish Park Ticket Office. You can pay on the day of the match at no extra charge, however be warned that if you purchase at Fratton Park then you must do so at the Frogmore Road Ticket Office which is situated in entirely the opposite side of the ground. The Milton Road turnstiles are unmanned, with entrance via the barcode on your ticket, so keep your ticket in good condition for easy admission.
There are five Wheelchair spaces available, with admission available for £10.00, including an assistant. Portsmouth's Disabled Liaison Officer is Allison McNeil, who can be reached at their Ticket Office on 023-9277-8559.
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Portsmouth : Directions To The Ground
The ground is situated on the east side of Portsmouth itself, in an outlying suburb called Fratton. Whilst the temptation is there to use the M275 into the City Centre, that is not the recommended route - you should be getting to the ground without needing to go via the city itself. Ditto the rail routes - if you get off at Portsmouth itself, then you're several miles from the ground.
For those travelling from Yeovil and the West Country, you'll approach the area via the M27 that runs West-East from the Southampton direction. Ignore the M275 junction that takes you into Portsmouth, and instead join the A27 Eastbound. Take the next A2030 turn-off, heading towards Southsea/Fratton. Follow the A2030, which runs parallel with the Langstone Harbour, and eventually you will see the ground in front of you.
For those travelling from London/Home Counties or from the East, the general principle is the same, except that from London you'll approach via the A3(M) and then onto the A27 Westbound. Take the A2030 turn-off towards Southsea/Fratton as above.
There is a car park at the stadium, but it's not intended to be available to away supporters, and even if you do wangle your way in, the cost of parking there is an astronomical £10.00. Fortunately you're far away from the city centre such that street parking is possible. More formal parking arrangements are available at Miltoncross School (PO3 6RB). Expect to pay around £5.00. We have seen suggestions that parking is available at St Mary's Hospital opposite, but the Welcome To Portsmouth website states that this is not approved parking. There are also warnings of Residents Parking areas and matchday restrictions - this apparently isn't the worst ground to park on the side streets, but keep a close eye on the signage as they will do clamping and towing away for those who offend.
For disabled supporters, there are five designated spaces for fans to park at the stadium, but you will be charged £5.00 to do so. For more information please contact Marie Stedman, Stadium Support Assistant, on 023 9277 8540 or email email@example.com
Check the National Rail Enquiries site for details of services.
A selection of Portsmouth taxi companies can be found here.
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|Portsmouth : Web Resources|
Simple site whose main purpose is to collate an online Pompey results database. It does also act as a gateway into other sites and their recent news. Good if you're wanting to look into Portsmouth's statistical history.
Portsmouth Official Site
Portsmouth's official website. In a break from the norm, Pompey have yet to tread down the dreaded PTV chain route. Navigation is a little easier than the PTV sites, although there's still too much clutter in the design, making information very hard to find.
The Pompey Pages
Wholly independent website, largely based around a 'blog' design, but with a few more static pages added in via the menu bar. The navigation around the site takes a little bit of getting used to but nice to see a site where adverts are utterly minimal, and just related to the site itself.
True Blue Army
Out of the FansOnline chain of sites, this is a fans run website, with up to date news and match reports.
The bad news is that it's a Vital franchise site. The good news is that this one appears to be manned by a real Pompey fan!
|Web Message Boards|
True Blue Army Message Board
Simple and single online message board. Register to post, but can read without logging on. Part of the True Blue Army FansOnline website. Other than this message board you'll find Pompey fans also comment a lot at the foot of Portsmouth News articles to give their views.
E-Mail Mailing Lists and Newsletters
Dedicated Pompey section for the Portsmouth News. Updated daily.
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Portsmouth : Food & Drink
Considering the size of Portsmouth as a city, and its proximity to both motorway and shipping routes, it's surprising to note that there is only one micro-brewery in the locality. The Irving & Co Brewery is the only proper 'home' brew so if you spot that on sale in any of the list of pubs below then bear that in mind. The majority of pubs listed are in the Fratton/Southsea area, although we have included a city centre option for those coming in via the main Portsmouth station.
Another thing to note is that a lot of the local Portsmouth pubs do not tend to serve food, unless you pick one of the 'chain' pubs. So bearing in mind the facilities inside the ground, you should note the burger van outside the stadium, whilst there is a McDonalds and a KFC between the Fratton End (opposite side of the ground) and the B&Q DIY chain store.
Club Bar :
Portsmouth does have a number of bars at Fratton Park. The Butler Reid Lounge, the Jimmy Dickinson Bar, the Montgomery Lounge, the Victory Lounge, the Chimes Lounge ... but basically nothing that any ordinary types will be allowed into. However, assuming Pompey's financial troubles haven't seen it taken down, Yeovil Town supporters should look out for something very familiar - a large white marquee on the North-East side of the ground (i.e. to the East side of the away end) that acts as a beer tent for supporters. This was put up in early 2007 and as far as we know it's still there, although up to date information on Fratton Park's operations is hard to find.
Once inside the stadium, again expect facilities for away fans to be extremely limited. There is one small tea-bar (which certainly last season they were not selling alcohol at) and a set of toilets that have a reputation of being inadequate for the size of the stand. Best advice therefore, is to sort out your food, drink and bathroom activities outside the stadium, or expect to miss part of the match stuck in queues.
Local Pubs :
Thankfully the local area around Fratton and Southsea has a decent selection of pubs in the area. Obviously with this being a ground that attracts a five-figure crowd, expect those close to the stadium to be either explicitly home-only, or crowded enough to be home-only in practice. Those that fall into the 'avoid' category include the Milton Arms and the Newcome Arms, although expect a few other closer ones to fit into that category.
|Artillery Arms: Situated east of the football ground, off Dunbar Road, and down a cul-de-sac. It's popular with Pompey fans but is far away enough from the ground to not make that a significant problem. Serves Bowman Swift One, Fuller’s ESB, Ringwood Fortyniner and three guest ales. No proper meals except on Sundays, but does sell pies/rolls on matchdays. The pub has Sky Sports and a pool table, with wi-fi facilities also available on request. There is a large beer garden which includes a covered area for nicotine addicts. Opening hours 12-11.30 Sun-Thurs; 12-12 Fri; 11-12 Sat.|
Artillery Arms, Hester Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO4 8HB. Tel: 023 9273 3610. Map: Click Here.
|Leopold Tavern: Situated about a mile south of the ground and Fratton Station, this one is worth the walk if you're after a wide selection of mainly southern-sourced real ales and a real cider. Also worth noting that its in the same street as the Sir Loin of Beef. From Fratton station, head south down Fawcett Road, then turn left into Albert Road. This was the Local CAMRA pub of the year for 2010 and 2011. No food served, apart from some filled rolls. This is a single bar pub, but is divided into three separate areas. Opening hours Mon-Thu 11.00am - 11.00p.m.; Fri-Sat 11.00a.m. - 12.00a.m. Sun 12.00p.m. - 11.00p.m.|
Leopold Tavern, 154 Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO4 0JT. Tel: 023 9282 9748. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.
|Northcote Hotel: The Northcote Hotel is situated a mile south of the ground in the same area as the Sir Loin of Beef and the Leopold Tavern, giving the chance of a decent three-pub crawl for those wanting to sample the real ale scene. Hop Back Summer Lightning, Irving Invincible, Taylor Landlord, Wadworth 6X on tap. No food. Pool Table, Darts, Wireless Internet and a Beer Garden with a headed patio area for smokers. There is a public bar and a lounge bar area. Despite the name this is a pub, rather than a hotel. Opening hours: 11.00a.m. - 12.00 midnight Mon-Thurs; 11.00a.m. - 1.00a.m. Fri/Sat; 12.00 noon - 12.00 midnight Sunday.|
Northcote Hotel, 35 Francis Avenue, Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO4 0HL. Tel: 02392 789888. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.
|Sir Loin of Beef: Situated a mile south of the ground, and in the same area as the Leopold Tavern and the Northcote Hotel, although this is the furthest east of the trio. Has up to eight rotating real ales, mainly of an obscure nature, and a real cider. No food. They also note no TV, pool or darts, meaning this pub only serves one purpose! Opening hours: 11.00a.m. - 11.30p.m. Mon-Thurs; 11.00a.m. -12.00 midnight Fri/Sat; 12.00 noon - 11.30p.m. Sunday.|
Sir Loin of Beef, 152 Highland Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO4 9NH. Tel: 023 9282 0115. Map: Click Here.
|The John Jacques: There are two Wetherspoon pubs in Portsmouth, and handily both are fairly close to the principle railway stations. This one is the lesser of the two, but may be more convenient for footy fans, as it's the one that's nearest to Fratton station. The two Wetherspoon pubs are also worth noting as it appears that pubs close to Fratton Park tend not to do food - these chain pubs do so all day, at decent prices, with a fairly predictable sort of pub menu. Opening hours 8.00a.m. - 11.00p.m. although the earlier hours in these pubs tend to be for coffee and breakfasts.|
The John Jacques, 78-82 Fratton Road, Fratton, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 5BZ. Tel: 023 9277 9742. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.
|The Rose In June: Whilst most pubs listed are in the Southsea part of town, this one is situated on the A288 Milton Road about 20 minutes walk north of the ground, and so may be a decent option if you are driving and looking to park close to a pub then walk down. It's on the east side of the railway line, opposite St Mary's Hospital. No food, but does Gale’s HSB, Irving Invincible, Ringwood Best, Sharp’s Doom Bar, plus guest ales, and two or three real ciders. Large garden with an adventure play area aimed at families. Opening hours: 12.00 noon - 12.00 midnight Sun-Thurs; 12.00 noon - 1.00a.m. Fri/Sat.|
The Rose In June, 102 Milton Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO3 6AR. Tel: 023 9282 4191. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.
|The White Swan: The White Swan will be a useful port of call for those coming into Portsmouth via the mainline station, rather than the more local Fratton service. This is a Wetherspoon pub, and apparently a better one than the Jean Jacques which is close to Fratton station. It's situated south of the station and very close to the New Theatre Royal, just west of Portsmouth Central Library. Does food all day. Opening hours are 9.00a.m. - 11.00p.m. with a two hour Friday/Saturday extension. Noteworthy as not many pubs in the area that are convenient for the football ground serve food.|
The White Swan, 26 Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2DD. Tel: 023 9289 1340. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.
Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You :
As a naval city, and a coastal town, Portsmouth is used to outsiders coming to visit. Hopefully the dreaded 'mockney' accent has not made it this far down.
Try not to point out too loudly that Southampton are your 'other' Premier League club. It may not go down too well in these parts.
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Portsmouth : Local Amenities
Local Guesthouses and Hotels
Go to A1 Tourism's Online Guide
to find Guest Houses/Hotels in the town and surrounding areas.
Other Points Of Interest
Portsmouth in mid-winter may not quite be the time to go looking for the nearest beach. However, as a coastal city, it's quite touristy and has bits worth seeing. Historic naval shops such as HMS Victory can be seen in Southsea, whilst you'll find that Gunwharf Quays is a modern leisure/shopping/restaurants set-up. Most of Clarence Pier Amusement Park is closed during the winter (rides open from March until end October) but close-by you'll find the D-Day Museum. Needless to say there's also plenty of scenic quaysides and sea-views, but wrap up warm!
[No responsibilty is taken for any inaccuracies. This page is entirely the product of bias and prejudice.]
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