Awfs: We’ve won over football

Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey have finally won over football after becoming debt free.

That’s Andy Awford’s verdict as the Blues boss sensed a feel-good factor coursing through the club as they go to York.

It’s been a good news week at Fratton Park after the announcement Pompey are out of the red two years ahead of schedule.

That’s was followed by the Pompey Supporters’ Trust announcing the club’s profits of £312,168 in their first year of community ownership.

The progress has been seized upon in national circles, with Pompey known as a football ‘basketcase’ after two periods of administration and almost going out of existence.

Awford hailed now being on a ‘level playing field’ with rivals as his men go to Bootham Crescent.

He said: ‘It was a new dawn when the new owners took over but now it’s a level playing field.

‘We are level with anyone else.

‘Everyone’s recognised the part the supporters have played in making it happen.

‘Like Mark Catlin said, we were lower than ground zero.

‘We’ve done all that work to get level. That’s where we are now.

‘So you can’t underestimate the size of the task which has taken place. Fair play to everyone.

‘We’ve had national headlines in the past.

‘And they have all been negative with all the rubbish we have been though.

‘It’s nice now to get national headlines which are positive.

‘It’s positive and we are on a level playing field again.

‘That’s testament to everyone who has played their part and all the unsung heroes behind the scenes.

‘It’s the supporters, board and executives. Everyone. They’ve all played a part.

‘No matter what small part everyone has played, it’s testament to them we are where we are now.’

Awford admitted there was a shred of frustration at not playing at home tomorrow after such an upbeat period.

He said: ‘There’s a real feel-good factor here. I wish we had a home game tomorrow because it’s all around the place.

‘We would have been able to get going off the back of that.

‘It’s great for all involved and I’m so pleased for all those people who have been through the dark days. It’s been brilliant.

‘For me, it’s been good to talk about the off-the-pitch stuff in a positive way.

‘When we haven’t talked football over the years it’s been all the negative stuff.

‘Now, when we are not talking football, we are talking about positive stuff.

‘I find that refreshing for us all.

‘I’m just grateful we are where we are as a football club.’