David James believes winning the 2008 FA Cup final was the beginning of the end for Portsmouth's golden era - but would love to do it all over again at Wembley this year.
Since Harry Redknapp led Pompey to glory with victory against Cardiff at the national stadium, it has been a rollercoaster ride through numerous managers and owners at Fratton Park - from a European clash with Italian giants AC Milan to financial meltdown which eventually led to administration, a nine-point deduction from the Premier League and is all set to end in relegation.
James is in no doubt while Pompey were right to aim to punch above their weight, that achievement in the Wembley sunshine ultimately came back to haunt them.
"It has had a terrible effect on the club over arguably the last 18 months," James said. "Qualifying for Europe was financial and physically damaging for the club. What we spent two years building up as a decent resilient side was pretty much undone in a couple of months."
The England keeper added: "To offer people the opportunity of big bonuses to qualify for Europe seems like a pretty safe bet, simply because you do not anticipate a club like Portsmouth winning the cup and our league form in the first season I was here, as much as it was progressive, would not have led us to believe we were going to finish in the top seven.
"Had we not won the FA Cup, bizarrely it would probably have done us a lot better, because we would not have qualified for Europe and would have been able to build on two decent years of progression.
"Having won the cup, the financial impact was crippling and then as a squad we just were not kitted out to be able to sustain the European, as well as league and cup campaigns which followed. We ended up suffering on both fronts."
James, though, maintained: "Winning the FA Cup on its own was a tremendous achievement.
"This year we have got a semi-final against decent opposition, and if we can give ourselves a chance of winning the cup again, that would not be for the lure of getting into Europe - it would be winning another trophy for Portsmouth."
James is one of several players out of contract at the end of the campaign, but elected not to take up the option of an automatic contract extension to try to help the club out in their current plight.
"No-one knows what will happen at the end of the season with regards to takeovers, and therefore there may be decisions made which are beyond the control of any individual players," said James, a reported target for Tottenham and former boss Redknapp.
"It is an issue and problems which will have to be dealt with at the end of the season. I will be 40 in the summer and have no intentions of not playing next season. The desire to play is more important than where I play.
"What I did not want, and the reason for waving the mandatory extension was not to be put in a position where the club were not hoping to play me because of the financial constraints."
The 39-year-old is hoping to end the campaign as part of the England World Cup campaign, but is taking nothing for granted.
"There are some decent young English goalkeepers out there playing well, so it is a wonderful situation which Mr Capello finds himself in with so much talent to draw from," said James.
"I just have to continue to do my job, and my focus is purely on Portsmouth. I will do as well as I can for the rest of the season and hopefully that will be enough."