Paul Cook: Pompey boss says club are 'off the floor' after promotion

Pompey celebrating
Portsmouth won promotion from League Two with three games of the season remaining

Portsmouth's promotion to League One has taken the club "off the floor", says manager Paul Cook.

The club achieved their first promotion in 14 years on Monday after a 3-1 victory over Notts County.

It signalled the end of a torrid spell for the club, who had previously gone into administration twice and fallen dramatically from the Premier League to the fourth tier.

Cook said: "The club's been on the floor but we're not on the floor now."

Pompey's fall and rise

Portsmouth won the FA Cup in 2008 but were relegated from the top flight in 2010 and the demise began.

They twice entered administration and, as a result, were in League One by 2012. A takeover by The Pompey Supporters Trust gave the club a lifeline, but they were relegated to the bottom tier in April 2013.

FA Cup triumph
Portsmouth had been a regular fixture in the Premier League, winning the FA Cup in 2008

Jack Whatmough, who has been at the club since the age of 13, said: "I've been at this club for a long time and it's remained the heartbeat of the city.

"I've seen it go down low but we're at the end now, we've done it."

Club chairman Iain McInnes sees the club's promotion as the beginning of a prosperous future for Portsmouth.

"For the guys who helped buy this club, save this club and put it on the map, it's the first step on a long road," he said. "I'm so proud of everyone involved."

Very much worth the pain - Cook

After finishing 13th and 16th in League Two, Portsmouth appointed Paul Cook as manager in May 2015.

The 50-year-old led the club to sixth in his first season, only to be beaten by Plymouth in the play-off semi-final.

"Since we've come in, the best part of two years ago now, the aim was to try and take our club back up," said Cook.

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Portsmouth boss Paul Cook says the weight of expectation from fans can be 'overbearing'.

"There's been plenty of downs. I remember coming back with the chairman after three games and telling him it's going to take time. I didn't know whether I would get it."

It is the second time Cook has achieved promotion as a manager in four years, after taking Chesterfield to the League Two title in 2013.

"I like to think I've improved the club but everyone has has a part to play. It's thoroughly deserved and we should all enjoy it," said Cook.

"It's been a very difficult job, but the end has been very much worth the pain."

A new beginning on and off the pitch?

Cook has already said he has been discussing new player contracts and potential new transfers with the board as they prepare to step up to League Two.

Michael Eisner
Could another fairytale begin with the former CEO of Disney, Michael Eisner?

Former Walt Disney chief executive Michael Eisner is also in exclusive negotiations over a potential takeover from the Pompey Supporters Club, who have owned it for four years.

"Wherever the club goes now, it will only be for the benefit of Portsmouth Football Club," said Cook.

"It's owned today by the fans, and the right people, and if they decide to hand it on to Mr Eisner, then it will be with everyone's best wishes.

"It will be Mr Eisner's job to carry us forward."

Pompey fans on pitch
Many of the 4,366 away supporters ran onto the pitch at Meadow Lane on the final whistle
Pompey promotion
Pompey defender Christian Burgess was lifted up by fans as they were mobbed at full-time

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