In response to Portsmouth Community Football Club entering into a 70-day period of exclusivity with Michael Eisner's Tornante Investment Group, the Pompey Supporters Trust invited our shareholders and members to complete a survey covering any hopes, concerns, and opinions that they had in relation to a possible change of ownership.
The PST used this purely as a consultation exercise, during a period when those involved in negotiations needed to be sure they were representing our members correctly. Due to the confidentiality agreements that were in place, we were unable to disclose any detailed information about the potential bid.
We received a fantastic response to the survey, with well over 2,000 people responding during a week-long period. Shareholders and members were generally positive about the takeover opportunity, with 64% initially feeling positive about Mr Eisner’s interest, rising to 74% the more they heard about his intentions.
The survey showed that worthwhile supporter representation is something that our members strongly favour. 86% believe it is important that the PST retains a share of ownership, 94% feel it is important for the PST to retain at least one seat on the club board, and 95% would like to see a supporter consultation group.
Taking our history into account, it was no surprise that protection of our colours, name and crest, the financing of the possible takeover, and nature of future investment, as well as intentions for the future of Fratton Park, were all subjects that our members wanted more information about before they could decide whether they were in favour of a sale.
As part of ongoing negotiations, we have made it clear to Mr Eisner what issues are important to shareholders and members of the PST. Given that we represent the largest share in the club, we would hope to see our members’ views on supporter ownership and involvement, and protection of the club’s heritage, reflected in any bid. Ultimately, it will be our shareholders and members who will vote to decide whether this, or any other bid for the club, is successful.
The PST board would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who took part in the survey, and for taking the time to provide us with such valuable insight.
A copy of the survey results can be downloaded here.