Let's take you back to May 17th 2008 - just another routine summer's day for most people. For Portsmouth FC supporters this day would soon turn out to be one of the greatest in the club's 116 year history. Pompey defeated Cardiff City 1-0 in the F.A Cup final at Wembley. A single Kanu goal would give Pompey the trophy for the first time since 1939. A goal that not only gave the winner £1m in prize money, but also fired Portsmouth into European football for the first time ever.
Harry Redknapp's men made it through qualifying and into the group stages of the UEFA Cup. Redknapp then left the club for his second time. It was left to assistant manager at the time, Tony Adams to welcome European giants A.C Milan to the south coast. In a game which saw Ronaldinho grace the turf of Fratton Park, Portsmouth managed a 2-2 draw with the 'Rossoneri' in what has to be described as the clubs biggest ever result.
A fantastic couple of years of progression at Portsmouth was about to be stopped in it's tracks. The fairytale was about to come to an abrupt end. Portsmouth were forced to sell a number of their top players in 2009 due to the financial difficulties they were having off field. A failed take-over bid and a lot of board room confusion left the club in a difficult situation. Rumors of rival consortiums being interested in the club along with the players not being paid forced a transfer embargo by the English FA in November 2009.
Happier times...Nwankwo Kanu of Portsmouth celebrates with team mates ©INPHO/Getty Images
It was made clear that Portsmouth were in debt of £135m by owner at the time Balram Chainrai and he entered the club into administration in February 2010. The club were hit with a nine point penalty in the Premier League and were subsequently relegated to the Championship.
There was a lot of talk of the club ceasing to exist in the coming months but hours before a possible liquidation verdict it was discover that the club has reached an agreement and were out of administration.
Fast forward two years, the club are playing in the English Championship under new manager Michael Appleton. Dejavu strikes. The club are once again placed into administration for the second time in two years. Portsmouth are relegated to League 1 and will play in third tier of English football for the first time in thirty years. To make matters worse the are slapped with a ten point deduction and the entire professional playing squad leave the club.
In a time of grave turmoil off the pitch, matters were worsening on it. A winless streak of twenty consecutive games along with the ten point deduction they had received led Pompey to their third relegation in as many years. Rock bottom.
A glimmer of hope then occurs, the 'Pompey Supporters Trust' agree a deal to takeover the club in April 2013 and the club exit administration for a second time. With Steve Coppell now installed as director of football, Portsmouth avoid the drop out of the English football league and remain in League 2. Considering the situation and with how financially crippled the club has become, staying in the football is a massive achievement.
However, the biggest achievement of all came just last week when Portsmouth declared itself debt free. The 'Pompey Supporters Trust' (largest fan owned club in Britain) has paid back all creditors and also paid back all finances to former players. This is an incredible story and all credit goes to those involved.
Only eighteen months since getting out of administration the fans have paid back all debts, two years before their projected deadline. A truly amazing feat.