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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 April, 2003, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Mandaric mulls future
Exclusive by Nada Grkinic

Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric
Mandaric has bank-rolled Pompey's promotion charge
Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric remains undecided about his future - despite the club winning promotion to the Premiership.

Mandaric, who took over the ailing First Division club five seasons ago, promised to return Portsmouth to the big time.

And Pompey ended their 15-year absence from English football's top flight with a nervy victory over Burnley at Fratton Park on Tuesday evening.

Now his mission is complete, Mandaric revealed he would take time to consider whether to stay on as chairman of the Premiership-bound side.

The charismatic Serb had stated earlier in the season that he would review his position in April once he had resolved business and family commitments in the United States.

"My excitement is delivering this kind of reward to people who deserve it and those are the faithful supporters," Mandaric said of Portsmouth's promotion.

I do want to stay with the club
Milan Mandaric
Portsmouth chairman

"It's great to be the chairman of a Premiership club but my goal has been to deliver the dream to the people of Portsmouth.

"I haven't made a decision about my future yet.

"I need a few weeks to sort things out back in America but hopefully, as far as I am concerned, I do want to stay with the club.

"There are improvements to be made. I want to establish Portsmouth as a Premiership club and finish the stadium project.

"But our goal really is to stay in the Premiership and get the 40 points we need to stay up.

"With the team we have and with the addition of a few players, hopefully we will be able to do that."

However, one thing Mandaric has definitely set his sights on is delivering a silver lining to the club's promotion - by winning the Division One title.

While manager Harry Redknapp has masterminded Portsmouth's heady rise to the top of the table, Mandaric has invested millions of pounds to get Pompey promoted.

"I am happy for all us of here in Portsmouth," Mandaric added.

"It couldn't happen to a better city or to better people. We're all excited by what has happened and it was a tremendous night.

"There are a lot of emotions. But I think the way we have played and the manner in which we have won our games has been very convincing throughout the season.

"We have played good football, Harry has done a tremendous job and the players have made us very proud.

"Now we have to win the championship. That is the next goal and we would like to put our hands on that trophy."




VOTE RESULTS
Will Pompey survive in the Premiership?
Yes
 42.25% 
No
 57.75% 
17992 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion


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