On March 30th 2011 The Pompey Supporters Trust launched the next stage of a possible bid to purchase the Portsmouth Football Club, with a pre-share offer to fans.
In the last few months, PST has been developing plans to play a role in the ownership and running of Portsmouth Football Club. Following discussions with the administrator, Trevor Birch, the PST is launching a pre-share offer in order to show it can offer more than just goodwill, and this proof of funds will allow it to enter the final stages of due diligence and to progress plans for a community purchase of PFC.
PST and the 12th man campaign surveyed over 6,000 Pompey supporters earlier this year. The survey results showed that Pompey supporters want to be formally involved in any new ownership structure, and are willing to invest money in a credible and financially sustainable community buy out of the club.
Working with Supporters' Direct, and with independent legal and financial advice, the PST pre-share offer, which launches on Saturday 31st March, will encourage supporters to donate a minimum of £100 into a safe and secure solicitor’s escrow account, managed by Verisona.
If a significant level of interest from fans is demonstrated through the pre-share offer, PST will undertake the final stage of due diligence with the administrators PKF, and will then develop a full offer to purchase Portsmouth Football Club, including outlining exactly what the fans will get in return for their investment stake.
Before submitting any formal offer, the proposal will be presented in full to investors, PST members, supporters and the local community.
No money will be used or transferred from the escrow account without the individual written consent of supporters, and money can be withdrawn at any time in any stage of the process. If fans are not happy with the terms of any offer for the club – if an offer is submitted – then money can be removed at any time. If a formal PST bid for the club is not submitted, the all funds will be returned, subject to a 2.5% administration fee.
Ashley Brown, Pompey Supporters Trust Chair commented
“The last few months has seen Pompey fans show the loyal and passionate support we are renowned for at Fratton Park and around the country. Following the events of the last few years we want our football club to represent the best of our community and for meaningful fan involvement to shape the way the club is run.
In order to develop our plans and take them to the next stage, we need to undertake more detailed due diligence. To do that - like any bidders - we need to show we have access to funds. With money pledged by fans, we hope to show the administrator that we have more than just fan goodwill and ideas - we have the capability to purchase Pompey and secure its future.
To enable us to negotiate effectively we need to understand whether our passion is shared by many others, if it is present we will be in a position to make a formal and viable investment proposal to our members and supporters, and purchase Pompey as a going concern. As things stand, there does not appear to be many or any other options for Pompey, it may need to be OUR Club or NO Club. Portsmouth Football Club needs meaningful fan involvement, and we may never have a better opportunity to play a significant role in the running of the club we love.”
Penny Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North commented
"I am so pleased that the PST are able to offer Pompey supporters this opportunity. The fans are the club and every club whose fans take a stake in it and are able to play a governance role will benefit:- in the boardroom, on the pitch, and in the community. The wider football community and Parliament agrees the time is right for fan ownership and I am delighted that Portsmouth is taking an early lead on this."
For further details of the pre-share offer, go to: www.communitypompey.co.uk