When the Serbian businessman Milan Mandaric bought Portsmouth Football Club from the administrators in 1998 with £5m of his own money, most people judged it a punt on the wild side. But it seems to have been a sound investment. Promotion to the Premiership in 2003 led to a surge in income from television. This, combined with better sales of season tickets, merchandise and advertising on pitches and players’ strips, increased sales 80% a year, from £6.8m in 2001 to £39.8m in 2004.
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