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Mandaric: ‘Nothing will replace Pompey’

2 November 2006 06:00

LEICESTER, Nov 2 (SW) – Former Portsmouth Chairman Milan Mandaric has insisted that Portsmouth will always be dear to his heart, despite criticism over his proposed bid for Championship side Leicester City.

The businessman has only recently walked away from the south coast club after a seven and a half year association, with some fans a little upset with the quickness of his intended return to the football world.

However Mandaric has played down the opposition to his proposed involvement with Leicester by saying he is not ready to retire just yet.

“I always promised I would never leave Pompey in trouble, like when they were in danger of relegation from the old First Division,” explained Mandaric.

“Instead I left Pompey in tremendous shape, near the top of the Premiership.

“I've helped put the club on the map. I get happier about that with every additional three points Pompey get.

“I didn't need to sell the club, but thought it was in the best interest of the club to do so.

“If I go to Leicester, supporters should be happy for me that I'm alive and still in football, rather than disappearing off to America or Slovenia and not being heard of again. I'm not ready to retire.

“If I go to Leicester, it's not to a club that is an unfriendly one to us. But whether I go to Leicester or Barcelona, Pompey will always be special in my heart. I might fall in love again, but nothing will replace Pompey.

“It was an unbelievable relationship. We went through some hard times together and had tears on our faces. But it brought us closer together. We've got fantastic memories.

“I might develop another good relationship, but nothing will ever replace the one I developed with Pompey fans. We will always be friends.

“I've had a lots of letters from Pompey fans wishing me all the best and saying what I did for the club was immeasurable. That's fantastic.”

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