Rocha: Pompey are now in safe hands

Ricardo Rocha is confident Pompey can now look forward to a bright future   Picture: Robin Jones
Ricardo Rocha is confident Pompey can now look forward to a bright future Picture: Robin Jones

Ricardo Rocha welcomed Pompey’s new era and said: This club is finally in the right hands.

The popular Portuguese centre-back missed the emotional 3-0 success over Sheffield United at the weekend with injury.

But the 34-year-old has joined the supporters in looking forward to the future with optimism, after the club came out of administration under the fan ownership of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust (PST).

Rocha said: ‘The people who love the club the most are the fans so if they have the means to run the club, why not? It was a very good week.

‘Unfortunately, the club is going to League Two and we cannot do anything about it.

‘But it’s a good way of maybe changing things around.

‘Now we have to look forward again because this is not a club to stay in League Two, League One or even the Championship.’

Rocha recently made it clear he would like to stay for next season, which would see him play in all four divisions for the Blues.

But the former Spurs defender still finds it hard to believe that a viable bid from a new owner never materialised, leaving the PST as the only option.

Rocha said: ‘You see other clubs and see people who have money and a passion for football go there.

‘And then you see a club like this and it was unbelievable that nobody wanted to buy it and to take the club forward.

‘I don’t know why. In my opinion, it might be from the problems of before – the administrations and the problems related to that.

‘Maybe people felt there might be something wrong with the club for that to happen all the time.’

Rocha admits he had real worries Pompey could be liquidated but is delighted with the news the club has been saved.

While it is very early days under the new ownership and stability is key, he remains ambitious on restoring the Blues to their rightful place in the future.

And he believes that would eventually require significant outside investment from a trustworthy source to join forces with the PST – if, of course, they choose to accept it.

Rocha explained: ‘Everyone was worried that the club was finished – even my friends in Portugal.

‘They were saying “a club like this cannot be over – it’s crazy”.

‘It shows how well-liked this club is throughout the world.

‘The fans work to feed their family, to pay the mortgage and they are putting in their own money to own the club.

‘They are doing so much for the club so it would be great for the Trust to take the club back to the Premier League one day.

‘That would be unbelievable and I hope they do.

‘But you would think they would have to find investors for the future to build a team to get there again.

‘It’s a long way off but it just needs the right people and the right investment.’