With Bolton Wanderers and Bury football clubs currently on the brink, the launch of OUR CLUB the story of the calamitous fall and rebirth of Portsmouth Football Club – in digital streaming format on August 1 could hardly be better timed.
On cinema release in May and June, the film – produced by Zanda Films and directed by Barney Fox, a Melbourne-based Crystal Palace fan – tells the story of Pompey who went from being Premier League staples and FA Cup winners in 2008 to playing in League 2, the fourth tier of English football, in just five years.
As the club lurched from one catastrophic owner to another, oblivion looked assured, but they reckoned without one thing: the power of the fans.
For this is a redemption tale. The story of how the fans wouldn’t let their club die. Over four years in the making, made with the full cooperation of the club and narrated by renowned sports broadcaster and Pompey fan Ian Darke, OUR CLUB is now set to finally reach the mass market it deserves.
Director Barney Fox said: “I was attracted to this project as I’d followed Pompey while they were in the Premier League. They were everyone’s favourite second team back then it seemed – but by 2013 I was beginning to wonder what had happened to them.
I approached the club in early 2014 with the concept and we took it from there. Almost forty protagonists in the Pompey story have been interviewed as part of the film-making process and all the key people are in there.
“But I also wanted to get an authentic fan view on what Pompey means to them. It is a complex story, but I hope the films manages to make it accessible not only for Pompey fans, but a wider audience too. Football’s financing problems that nearly killed Pompey have not gone away.”
Executive Producer Colin Farmery added: “As someone who was involved at the heart of the community bid to buy the club, this is a vital story that needs to be seen by as many fans as possible.
“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be involved in the making of this film which does an incredible story justice.”
The film will be available for streaming on the Vimeo platform from Thursday August 1 and available for pre-order from Tuesday July 30. Priced at £5.99 for a 72-hour streaming pass, the 90-minute film has been competitively priced, despite the significant investment – to ensure the film was made – of Dorney Productions, owned by club President Ian Silvester.
Colin said: “Without Ian’s backing of Barney and me, this film would not have seen the light of day. There’s been some twists and turns on the way, but just like the fans saving Pompey in the first place, we did it in the end.”
To pre-order the film for streaming at £5.99 go to the Vimeo site here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/ourclub
A download version of the film is scheduled for September and a DVD for the Christmas market is also being explored.