The Demise of Portsmouth: Part Two

Andrew JordanSenior Writer IOctober 3, 2009

PORTSMOUTH, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 18:  Lassana Diarra of Portsmouth celebrates with his team-mates after scoring the first goal for Portsmouth during the UEFA Cup round one first leg match between Portsmouth and Guimaraes at Fratton Park on September 18, 2008 in Portsmouth, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

After winning the FA Cup in 2008 and appearing to be a club on the rise, Portsmouth have taken a terrible turn for the worst in the last year, and it doesn't appear to be getting better anytime soon.

The Pompey have worst start in the top division of English football in 79 years, as they have lost their first seven Premier League matches before finally beating Wolverhampton on Oct. 3, and are also in the middle of a financial situation that has crippled the club, and could cause the club to declare bankruptcy sometime in the next month.

With this situation, I have created a three part series to document how Portsmouth have reached this position.

In the first edition of my three part series, I gave a recap of Portsmouth's great 2007-208 season in which they won the FA Cup, and also qualified for European competition for the first time in club history.

This installment will recap the Portsmouth season after Harry Redknapp left for Tottenham and will continue on until Sulaiman Al-Fahim's takeover of Portsmouth in late May of 2009.


Portsmouth's Season after the Departure of Harry Redknapp

After the departure of Harry Redknapp to Spurs in October, Portsmouth started to turn around their season as they actually started to win some matches, and continued to perform well in the UEFA Cup, including a 2-2 draw with AC Milan at Fratton Park.

However despite their strong performance in the UEFA Cup, Portsmouth continued to struggle in the Premier League and as the calendar year of 2008 ended, Portsmouth found themselves as a serious relegation contender.

Pompey's fortunes in January did not help Portsmouth's manager Tony Adams' job security, as Portsmouth continued to lose in the Premier League, and they also got eliminated from the FA Cup by Swansea City at Fratton Park.

And after losing to Liverpool 3-2 after holding a 2-1 lead late in the match, rumors began swirling that Adams was going to get sacked, which became true on Feb. 9, when Youth Team coach Paul Hart became manager.

After Hart became manager, Portsmouth once again started to play well, and by gaining 17 points after Hart took over as manager in February, Portsmouth were able to secure a spot in the Premier League for 2009-2010 by finishing in 14th place with 41 points.


The Al-Fahim Takeover

On May 26, 2009, Portsmouth accepted an offer from United Arab Emirates businessman Sulaiman Al-Fahim to buy the club for approximately £60 million from French businessman Alexandre Gaydamak.

Previously, Al-Fahim was a member of the Abu Dubai United group that bought Manchester City in September of 2008, and was considered by many to be the leader of the group.

After taking over Manchester City, the Dubai group bought Robinho from Real Madrid for a British record £32.5 million, and stated that he was also going to "solve" all of Manchester City's problems and the group was going to make a £134 million bid to buy Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo during the January transfer window, but it was later revealed that Khaldoon Al Mubarak was the Chairman of Manchester City, and Al-Fahim wasn't even on the Manchester City board.

Despite all of this, Al-Fahim became committed to buying Portsmouth, and in early June it appeared that he would soon become the chairman of Portsmouth in late July.

But, it was only going to get worse for Portsmouth as the summer progressed.