News

May 222017
 

Portsmouth Trust Statement

Over the last two weeks, 2,272 PST shareholders have cast their vote to determine the outcome of the Tornante bid for Portsmouth Football Club.

Following a 93.6 % turnout, 1,825 shareholders voted to sell the PST shares.

On Saturday, the PST Secretary informed Portsmouth FC of the outcome of the vote and the wish to sell the PST’s 48.5% shareholding to Tornante.

75% of the Presidents have voted to sell their respective stakes in the club.  Together with the PST’s 48.5%, this means 81.4% of the club’s equity holding is in agreement with the sale. The threshold to approve a sale, as laid down in the shareholders’ agreement, is 75%

Discussions around the sale will now begin with Tornante representatives and the timeline will be managed by Tornante.

PST Chairman Ashley Brown said “This is true fan ownership and democracy at work. Our fans decided who the next owner of our club would be – and it will be Michael Eisner and Tornante. The Trust board would like to wish Michael the very best of luck. We believe he understands the importance of the custodianship of Pompey and will be an owner all fans will be proud of. We look forward to working with him, his family and Tornante for many years to come”

Throughout this process, the PST board have strived to provide the membership with factual information to enable them to make an informed decision. During negotiations, PST presented matters and issues previously discussed with the membership and are pleased that some have been included in the Tornante offer. We will shortly begin a new era at Fratton Park and the Trust will continue to be an influential and relevant body in the club’s future. We will have three board members representing the PST on the Heritage and advisory board and we will be happy to help the Eisner family in any way we can to ensure the long term success of Portsmouth FC.

Our Trust Directors on the PFC board will remain in place during the transition period and will be working to find ways to enable Michael Eisner to assist the coaching staff in their close season planning ahead of the deal closure. After such a tremendous season, we would like to thank Paul Cook, his coaching team and the players for the fantastic job they have done, and wish them all the very best of luck in League One. The board would also like to thank Iain McInnes for his passionate and focused leadership as Chairman of Pompey.

Most importantly, we would like to thank you, the shareholders, fundraisers, syndicate members and fans whose incredible support allowed a fan owned club to recover from a perilous state to become Champions of League Two.

Portsmouth FC
Apr 222017
 

Continuing a great football season Havant & Waterlooville clinched promotion today.

The Hawks claimed the Ryman League premier division title despite a goalless draw at Kingstonian. The point for Lee Bradbury’s men was enough to seal automatic promotion back to National League South after Bognor were held to a 1-1 draw by Met Police. Jimmy Muitt had given the Rocks the lead but their hopes of overhauling the Hawks were dashed when Will Salmon silenced the Nyewood Lane crowd on 71 minutes. Jamie Howell’s Bognor now go into the play-offs, with Wingate & Finchley their semi-final opponents.

 Posted by at 7:58 pm
Mar 272017
 

A bit late putting this out there but on the 20th March the first rumours of a proposed takeover at Portsmouth surfaced. The following statement was issued by the PST.

The PST board are aware that an article in ‘The News’ today will create significant interest.

A club such as OURS, with its incredible fan base, is bound to attract interest from possible buyers, and it is our duty to listen to any serious and credible offer for the football club.

If there is a serious and credible offer, our shareholders will decide the outcome.

The 3 PST Directors of Portsmouth Community Football Club will be fully involved in discussions. We understand how much owning your club means and retaining an ownership stake will be central to any discussions we enter in to.

We are in the process of finding a date for a shareholders meeting which will give you an opportunity to hear more information on any prospective bid to purchase the club, and a full opportunity to air your views.

A date for this meeting will be communicated in due course.

Later this was followed up by an official statement from Portmouth Football Club

Since the club’s exit from administration in 2013, the board of directors and staff have worked tirelessly to restore our fans’ faith in the club and – as club custodians – have continually striven to improve both on and off-field performance.

A cornerstone of this work has been our openness and transparency with shareholders and supporters alike, while at the same time also respecting the confidentiality and commercial sensitivity of business agreements and contracts.

We would like to assure all shareholders and supporters that we have a robust process in place to deal with any potential offers of investment.

If we reach a point where such an offer of investment into the club is made, then ultimately it will be for all our shareholders – of which the PST is the single largest – to decide whether such new investment would be in the club’s best interest.

We believe this to be the true definition of a fan-owned club, allowing those supporters who have invested to have the final say on the future direction of the club.

We will make no further comment at this stage and assure all fans that, as always, we continue to work in the best interests of Portsmouth Football Club.

Which basically told us nothing.

Many an article has surfaced since then relating to Mr Michael Eisner and he appears on the surface to be the real deal. Unlike previous potential owners who have had many skeletons in their closets this guy seems whiter than white having been CEO of both Disney and Paramount during his career. The man is also insanely rich. The stories soon moved beyond rumours to facts including three tweets from Mr Eisner himself relating to the club.

It remains to be seen whether a deal will be done but in my opinion the club needs it to progress. The “fan owned” idea is great and can only take us so far. Some believe we can stay fan owned and make the Premier League, I believe that is impossible and an opinion backed up by most realists and those with proper knowledge of the club. Attendances of 16000+ give us a good basis but with no outside income it limits us to mid-table League One. In addition Fratton Park is falling down and there is a real possibility of parts of it closing in years to come.

My small share stake will give me a vote, my understanding is that 75% of the vote is required to allow a sale to go through, the PST hold a stake of approx 48% which gived them the power of veto.

On March 23rd the Club issued the following statement announcing a period of “exclusivity” meaning we will not negotiate a sale with anyone else in the meantime.

Portsmouth Community Football Club would like to advise all shareholders and supporters that it has entered into an Exclusivity Agreement with Michael D. Eisner and his Tornante Group to allow for a period of discussions and negotiations to take place regarding a possible purchase of the club.

The agreement is simply to ensure that during this period, which will be 70 days, the club will not engage in discussions with any other potential bidder and is standard practice in these situations.

We thought it best to explain this in a Q&A format, that we hope our fans will find useful:

Q: Is this a done deal then?

A: No, it is not. Put simply, this now enables the club to exclusively enter into a period of negotiation and due diligence with Mr Eisner and his Tornante Group to establish the detailed terms he proposes.

Q: Due diligence – what does that entail?

A: Mr Eisner and Tornante will be reviewing our business and financial information, and equally we will be checking out their own respective financial and business credentials.

Q: What form will the negotiations take?

A: The Board and Mr Eisner will look to negotiate the terms of what would effectively be the best and final offer they wish to make for the club; at which point we will advise all shareholders – both Presidents and those with the PST – on the terms of the offer. Shareholders will then be asked by the club and the PST to vote to either accept or reject the offer.

Q: Who will be leading the negotiations?

A: The Board have retained Trevor Birch to advise them during the negotiating process and he will liaise with all of the stakeholders in the club. Trevor is a managing director of global corporate advisory firm Duff and Phelps, and has unique experience of dealing not only with potential investors at a variety of clubs, but also possesses an insight specifically into PCFC, its community ethos and intricacies of the current fan ownership model.

Q: Will there be an opportunity for Mr Eisner to explain in person his vision and plans for the club’s future to shareholders?

A: Yes, the intention would be for Mr Eisner to explain his future strategy and plans for the club to all shareholders.
As all our supporters are aware, on the pitch we now enter the final, crucial phase of the season.

We can assure all fans that in the background we will now discreetly and privately engage in this next stage of discussions, while our focus will remain on supporting the football staff and players until the end of the season.

The next few weeks will probably be rife with rumours and opinions (often stated as facts) but little will be made public.

Here’s hoping for the best!

Portsmouth Football ClubMichael Eisner
Jul 132016
 

The Hawks have bolstered their squad by signing former Pompey midfielder Wes Fogden.

It is Fogden’s second spell at Westleigh Park having joined them previously from Dorchester Town in February 2009.

Fogden, who was released by Yeovil Town at the end of last season, was a firm favourite with Hawks fans and scored 29 goals in 105 league appearances.

AFC Bournemouth signed him for £25,000 in October 2011 before he moved to Fratton Park in 2014.

Fogden returns to Westleigh Park on a two-year deal as the Hawks look to win promotion from the Rynan League premier division back to National League South at the first attempt.

May 202016
 

Adam Webster is poised for a switch to Ipswich Town.

And the deal will involve Matt Clarke and a transfer fee coming to Fratton Park in exchange.

Tractor Boys boss Mick McCarthy has moved to strengthen his defence with a swoop for the highly-regarded Webster.

The 21-year-old has just enjoyed his finest season yet at the Blues, finally establishing himself in his preferred position of centre back.

Now he is poised to move to the Championship, with Paul Cook tempted to do business having been offered Clarke and cash as part of the deal.

Central defender Clarke made 34 appearances and scored once during a season-long loan from Portman Road, on occasions partnering Webster.

The clubs are currently tying up the transfer as Cook seeks to bolster his squad in the early part of the close season.

Portsmouth FC
May 182016
 

The Hawks have swooped to sign striker Jason Prior from Bognor as manager Lee Bradbury looks to rebuild his side.

It is a clear statement of intent as the Hawks aim to bounce back into National League South at the first attempt.

Relegation has hit the club hard and Bradbury, who needs to put together a competitive squad accepts that will require a different approach.

He intends to include more local talent.

Prior scored 40 goals in 57 appearances for the Rocks last season.

And Bradbury believes he fits the bill perfectly.

With the Hawks dropping into the Ryman League, Bradbury admits he is changing the focus of the team.

He said: ‘Signing Jason is a no-brainer for us as he was out of contract at Bognor.

‘He lives in Portsmouth and I am looking to build a team based on hungry local players.

‘The player is at the right age, at 27, and with lots of experience in the league we find ourselves in.

‘I have tried to get him before and he is an old-school type of centre forward.

‘He holds the ball up well, is an intelligent player and knows where the goal is.

‘As a proven goalscorer he could make all the difference to the Hawks and I am sure he will be a big success.

‘For the past two seasons we have suffered through the lack of a regular goalscorer up front.

‘Next season in the Ryman League we will need strong-willed players prepared to go the extra distance.’

Bradbury was also interested in signing Gosport Borough goalscorer Justin Bennett.

He admits, however, that the Hawks were unable to compete with what another club are offering him.

Last season’s young striker Shamir Mullings has left Westleigh Park after being released by the club.

Central-defender Ed Harris, who missed the whole of last season, has received the all-clear and has signed again for next season.

Bradbury has also agreed a deal with winger Ben Swallow to keep him at the club.

May 172016
 

After the disappointment of the play off defeat Paul Cook has started to trim the squad for next season.

Brian Murphy, Chad Field and Snorre Nilsen have been released following the expiration of their contracts.

Adam McGurk, Kal Naismith and Matt Tubbs have been transfer listed. Options taken up on Tollitt, May and Close. Talks continue with Hollands and Davies.

Good to see Tollitt kept, the only real surprise in Naismith who was just starting to show some promise.

Portsmouth FC