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After a long period of suffering: Portsmouth are back in the second tier

After a twelve-year absence, Portsmouth FC are back in the second-tier Championship. The fans of the promoted club have had a tough time

In 2010, Portsmouth FC were even the talk of the town in Germany, at least indirectly: Kevin-Prince Boateng, then a professional with the southern English side, had run into Michael Ballack in the FA Cup final against Chelsea (0:1) so ruthlessly that the former then received “what felt like 5000” certainly not pleasant messages and the latter missed the 2010 World Cup.

For Portsmouth fans, these times seem like 5000 years ago. Their club were English champions twice (1949, 1950) and FA Cup winners twice (1939, 2008), but what happened in that 2009/10 season was painful for a long time. Pompey were the first Premier League team to file for bankruptcy and were also relegated due to the nine-point deduction, were relegated to the fourth-tier League Two after further financial turbulence and were finally taken over by the fans in 2013.

With the arrival of Disney CEO Michael Eisner, who took control of the club in 2017 shortly after its return to League One, stability finally returned and the focus slowly turned upwards again. And since Tuesday evening, Portsmouth have been back in the Championship – after twelve years. The 3-2 win at home to Barnsley at Fratton Park means that the Blues are assured of promotion and even first place

“They’ve been through so much in the past “

While they had only finished eighth (2021, 2023) and tenth (2022) in the previous three years, this time they were right at the top from the start and only conceded four defeats in 44 games. This is also down to the work of coach John Mousinho, who has been in charge since January 2023. “I haven’t quite got it yet!” said the 37-year-old Londoner jubilantly. “I’m really pleased for everyone at the club because they’ve been through so much in the past.”

Behind Portsmouth, Derby County, who were relegated in 2022 after 14 years in the second tier, currently occupy the second direct promotion spot.

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