The PST has produced a comprehensive Q&A on the status of the Bid
How will voting be made up for the running of the club under a PST buy out?
The Trust Board is elected by the members on an annual rolling basis. All members have one vote.
It is important to distinguish PST from PFC. PFC will have a company structure with a Board of Directors comprising of an employed Chief Executive, two members of the PST Trust Board, one representative from the Associated Directors and another known Investor.
Details will be made available to potential 'collective' shareholders once the terms of any buy-out are finalised.
When I purchase my share would it be possible to sell it if I fell on hard times? Could I leave it to someone in a will?
More details on the issues you raise will be covered if and when a share prospectus is issued.
What does the business plan look like? When do you expect a return to profit?
In general terms, the financial forecast predicts a loss of £1.8m in 12-13, a profit of £4.5m in 13-14 and a profit of £0.2m in 14-15. The PST aim is to run the club on a self-sustaining basis, but the PST will always want to explore the possibility of other investment sources, which would enable PFC to progress. The opportunity to improve merchandise sales, catering and banqueting and advertising may well bring incremental profit opportunities to the club.
Trevor Birch has reached settlement terms with most of the players. Do you know what those settlement conditions are and can the Trust afford the settlement terms Mr Birch has promised the players?
The specific financial details of the player settlements agreed by Trevor Birch have not been made public. The PST is monitoring this situation in relation to the viability of its bid.
Trevor Birch never seems to refer to the Trust’s bid or that he is in any way putting it forward. His utterances are all WHEN Portpin take over. Has The administrator helped the Trust?
The role of the administrator is to try to save PFC and achieve the best outcome for the creditors of the company in administration. Any remarks he makes need to be understood in that context. It is not his role to favour one bid over another.
Do you not think that by shutting down the Academy, that this is in direct conflict of the core values of “being an integral part of the community”?
PST does not intend to 'shut down' the Academy. The PST bid is committed to PFC developing its own talent. There is also a commitment in the bid to fund the Academy in 2012-13 and 2013-14. We expect the Academy to be self-funding in Year 3 through commercial sponsorship and through generating income through transfer deals. The Academy expenditure, like all other areas of the business, will be under review to ensure it offers good value and is cost-effective.
A lot of the revenue growth that the Trust is expecting is largely down to “better management”. Doesn’t the Trust feel that in the current economic climate, this area will only decrease in revenue especially as the attendances drop?
On revenue streams, notably in sponsorship and catering, it is the view of the PST bid team there is scope for large improvement in these areas. The bid assumes increased attendances over the three-year period from 11,500 to 13,250, which would help in this respect. Although the bid document assumes League One football for three years, this should not be assumed as acceptance of stagnation. A community-owned club will be looking to re-connect with the fan base to increase interest and participation.
Will the Trust have a banking facility, especially beyond the first year, as having just £145,631 in the bank is cutting it very fine when you consider one late payment from a debtor will have significant strains on our cash flow?
PFC will have a banking facility. The cash-flow statement in the bid document is an outline summary. More detailed figures have been produced, as you might expect, but these fall into the commercially sensitive bracket. The aim is to build a self-sustaining football business, in which suppliers and the banks will have confidence.
The estimate of an average attendance of 10,000, across the three cup competitions, appears to be very optimistic. I don’t see many people paying £20 to watch us in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy?
In general terms the bid team has tried to use conservative forecasts in putting together its financial forecasts. The figure stated is an average.
When do you anticipate that the Portsmouth City Council will make a decision as whether to loan you the £1.45m?
PCC is due to discuss the matter at 12pm on Thursday 9 August at a public meeting where fans and members of the general public may attend.
What assumptions have the Trust made with regards to the percentage of pledges that will actually become reality? And what contingency plans do they have to cover any shortfall?
The bid works on the assumption of a 75% take up of pledges. This is believed by the PST to be a conservative estimate.
If Portpin completes its purchase of the club this week, what is the Trust's next move?
In the first instance, the PST would seek constructive engagement with any new owner of PFC to try to help secure our stated Mission Statement:
'Our aim is to bring about responsible, democratic representation at Portsmouth Football Club and so help promote the highest standards of transparent governance, accountability and embed Portsmouth FC deeper into its community through greater communication and co-operation with its fans.'
Who is Iain McInnes? Is he now leader of the Trust?
Iain McInnes is a long-standing Pompey fan, born in Paulsgrove, who shares the Trust’s aim of creating a community club. He is a successful businessman in his own right and, with a number of other individual Pompey fans, has pledged a six-figure sum to invest in Portsmouth FC. The PST has been working with these individuals for several months. The Chair of the Pompey Supporters Trust remains Ashley Brown, who with other board members Mick Williams and Mark Trapani, have been leading the PST bid team.
Why is Iain McInnes going to be the new PFC chairman? Shouldn’t fans have voted on this?
Iain McInnes is a significant investor in his own right. That level of investment, coupled with his business experience and Pompey fan credentials, make him an obvious figurehead to lead the PFC into the community club era. The football club will have a company structure, which operates in a different way from the Trust structure.
Iain McInnes said on Express FM on Saturday that he would be prepared to work with Chainrai. How confident are the Trust that they will have the support behind them, from fans, if PST proposed to work with Portpin?
The current situation is serious and there is a distinct possibility PFC could be liquidated. In such a scenario, Plan B, more than likely, would not get off the ground until the 2013-14 season, making that a riskier enterprise than it might otherwise have been.
Even a deal by the PST to buy PFC from the administrator will require coming to an agreement with Portpin. That company is a secured creditor and the PST has, effectively, made an offer of £2.75m to settle that debt. That offer is subject to getting agreement from PCC for a bridging loan.
From the PST's perspective, it needs to be able to respond quickly and flexibly to the situation as it evolves. It is been public knowledge that it has spoken with a number of individuals over possible investment. At some future point, were Portpin to re-take over PFC, the PST would almost certainly need to negotiate directly with the representatives of that company.
The pre-share issue has already been discounted, in the sense that it is recognised not all fans will want or be able to commit. Depending on the situation, a prospectus will be issued and fans will be able to make an informed decision whether to invest or not. In the end, it is the fans who will decide whether any deal proposed is a one they can support or not.
How much longer will the Trust be accepting pledges? I haven't pledged yet because I can't justify the potential £1k outlay at this time. However, it is something I could justify in the near future.
As things stand there is no closing date. The PST is still accepting pledges. In the short term, pledge as little as you can afford and can be made by visiting www.communitypompey.co.uk . Youwill receive full information in due course, if the PST bid goes forward.
What is the Trust's position with regard to partial ownership with Portpin or in the longer term with others (eg Swansea Trust’s 20%)?
The PST is more than happy to discuss with individuals or organisations who wish to invest in PFC in partnership with the PST, so long as they meet the Trust’s core aim of creating a community club as per the terms of its mission statement.
Likewise, it would consider offers from prospective owners of PFC, which understands the Trust’s involvement in the running of the club as a positive development. The PST would not rule out negotiating with Portpin at some point in the future, but any proposal arising from the negotiations would need to be ratified by the Trust Board and/or wider Trust membership.
If Portpin withdrew at the last moment, how does the Trust resolve the Football League stipulation of honouring football debts when the PST is apparently offering players a 75% reduction on what they have already agreed with Trevor Birch? Is this credible to the Football League?
Portpin and the PST have both submitted conditional bids. The supposed differences between them is speculation. Trevor Birch is being kept informed of developments from the PST side. You are correct in that there is some informed speculation in the public arena from a variety of sources. As things stand however, there is no evidence Portpin is going to withdraw, so the issue may not need to be addressed for that reason. If Portpin were to do so, Trevor Birch would then need to focus on alternative bids and consider them on their merits. The PST bid has evolved in the past seven days and may yet evolve further.
Why is the PST offer to the unsecured creditors more than the £500,000 offered in Portpin bid?
Trevor Birch needs to obtain the best deal for creditors. If the PST bid is accepted an element of the debt to Portpin will become unsecured, therefore the PST would need to pay monies to Portpin which Portpin wouldn’t need to pay to themselves in their own bid. The higher offer to unsecured creditors will cover that.
Why hasn’t Trevor Birch given an answer on the bid submitted by the trust back in June?
The bid submitted in June by the PST is still on the table. It has been neither rejected nor accepted. The PST bid team remains in regular contact with Trevor Birch over its status and development.
Whilst I think the Trust have done a good job, why hasn’t it been more damning of Trevor Birch’s constant championing of Portpin's bid, David Lampitt’s appointment to SD and the FL -10 points deduction for again failing to govern their league?
Trevor Birch has to act as an officer of the court. His role is to try to sell the business as a going concern and get the best deal for the creditors. Any remarks he makes need to be understood in that context. Relations between Trevor Birch and the bid team remain open and cordial. On David Lampitt's appointment, while PST understands the anger and frustration of some fans on this issue, it has taken the decision to focus its energy on its bid to buy PFC. A community-owned PFC would challenge the points deduction by the Football League.
If Portpin takes over again will the Trust this time be more vocal in calling for him to leave?
The PST believes that a community-owned club is the best model for the future sustainability of professional football in Portsmouth. If Portpin become owners of PFC again, the PST will immediately seek constructive dialogue to achieve its goal.