Manager Paul Tisdale says the similarities between Exeter City and Portsmouth were a key factor in him having discussions with the south coast club regarding the manager’s job.
Exeter City confirmed last week that they had allowed Pompey to talk to Tisdale to discuss the position vacated following the sacking of Guy Whittingham.
The role has now been filled by Richie Barker with Steve Coppell as director of football – the same combination that were in charge at Crawley before Barker’s sacking in November.
And while Tisdale was reluctant to go into too much detail regarding his talks with Portsmouth, he confirmed he had a lot of respect for the Fratton Park side, particularly after they became a fan-owned club like City earlier this year.
“There are similarities of course between them and Exeter’s situation 10 years ago with the trust taking ownership of the club, so I had an affinity to their situation and their cause and I suppose what they see as their future,” Tisdale explained.
“It is certainly a complicated situation with the club coming out of administration.
“I spoke to them and it was exactly that – a complicated situation and not a clean situation. It is a very good club though and it was worth talking to them.
“I did what I have also done with other clubs – I spoke to them and that’s it really.”
It was certainly not the first time another club has shown an interest in the 40-year-old.
Swansea have twice held discussions with Exeter City regarding Tisdale, while he turned down the job at Southampton – where he spent the bulk of his playing career.
Newcastle United, Reading and, more recently, Bristol City and Swindon Town are other jobs to which he has been closely linked.
However, for now he remains at St James’s Park where he arrived in 2006, making him the longest-serving manager in the Football League and the second-longest in England’s top four divisions behind Arsène Wenger.
“What I would say is that I did not apply for the job – they approached Exeter City and me,” Tisdale continued.
“They made an approach to Exeter to speak to me. It is not the first time but, as always, Exeter have always said yes, people are free to talk to me if they wish and I wish.
“Sometimes I have said yes to speak to a club and this time I decided I would speak to them.
“They are a good club and I did agree to speak to them. I was interested to talk to them and see what they had to say.
“I met them and had a chat with them as I have done before with other clubs – it is not the first time. We met last week and that’s it really.”