Luca chose perfect place for revolution

Gianluca Vialli launched the FanFunding campaign at Fratton Park. Picture: Ian Hargeaves
Gianluca Vialli launched the FanFunding campaign at Fratton Park. Picture: Ian Hargeaves

Okay, it was pretty late in the day.

But there I was: Fan_5872 – and my virtual square metre of Pompey’s training ground was secure.

There were 5,453 Blues supporters alongside me as my contribution to the Tifosy FanFunding scheme was registered.

So take a bow Reece Percival, Dave Wiseman, Morten Christiansen, Vic Creamer, Strong Island and the Binns family.

They have all done likewise and helped ensure two new Academy pitches will be added to the club’s Roko training complex.

You may have noticed Pompey fans have been excelling themselves recently.

Seven days ago I wrote about the significance of Pompey’s remembrance of those who fought for our country in the First World War.

The manner in which the football world acknowledged their class, marked it out as the most significant landmark since the fight for the club’s existence was secured, 16 months ago.

What followed at the end of last week ensures another significant milestone in the Blues narrative followed quickly after.

Tommy Kolkmam, Laurie & Jo Jones, Isabelle Savin de Larclause, Steve Reid, Laurence Meiklereid and can take their acclaim for their roles in that.

It was 65 days ago, Gianluca Vialli jumped off a train at Fratton station and walked up Goldsmith Avenue to officially launch the scheme.

The project, the first of its kind in football, appeared an ambitious one. Almost ludicrously ambitious.

Yet, if you don’t aim for the stars next to that crescent moon you’ll never reach them.

Even so, when the target of £250,000 was mentioned it didn’t even seem it was in the same solar system.

Blues boss Andy Awford knows the power of Pompey fans as much as anyone, but even he privately admitted he couldn’t see it being reached.

He thought raising £100,000 in a year would have been some going. The cashometer on the back of The News was poised on £120,000 after four weeks.

Thanks to the likes of Sarah Jones, Juho Vuononvirta, Peter Knight, Micah Hall, IMS and Koichi Shimizu that searing pace was set.

It was always going to be a test to maintain the rate at which the money was being pumped into the initiative.

And inevitably that proved the case as it became a steadier stream of donating over the scheme’s second month.

Pompey fans have dug deeper than any others when it comes to funding the operation of their football club.

They, more than any other supporters, could justifiably find themselves afflicted with donation fatigue.

The causes are many, varied and laudable, but the wallet can only be emptied for so long before cobwebs and a season ticket remain.

That didn’t seem an unreasonable view, and cracking £200,000, as was the aim last Wednesday, still amounted to a monumental achievement.

We didn’t allow for the generosity of Tamsyn Scovell, Bob Inglis, the Sports Mail, Basyl Puszkar and Gemma Roberts, though.

Just when it appeared donations were slowing, out came a final fearsome push.

A record-breaking £22,000 came into the coffers on Thursday.

Then, just as Vialli was lauding the efforts of supporters, the £250,000 mark was hit. In fact, it wasn’t so much hit, as sensationally, mind-blowingly full-on-awe-inducingly smashed.

‘Pompey have pioneered a concept that does actually work,’ said Vialli of the achievement. ‘It could be a revolution for football.’

If it is, then you certainly came to the right place to start the revolution, Luca.