Update on Community Share Withdrawal
By Simon Colebrook

Added on 10 August 2017

Since the completion of the sale of the club to Tornante on the 3rd August, work has been continuing to put in place the scheme for Community Share withdrawals.

The aims are to create a scheme that is easy for shareholders to apply for, offers them some choice over what to do with their shares but also ensures that any fraudulent applications are detected and stopped.

The first thing to note is that the proceeds of the sale will be held separately from the normal operating funds of the PST. Amounts will only be transferred out as we receive instruction from individual shareholders. Therefore, if shareholders wish to wait to see what projects are proposed as alternative uses before they apply for a refund, then the money will be securely held.

Approval for the Withdrawal Scheme

The two prospectuses for the share offers stated that only 5% of Community Shares could be withdrawn in any year. Obviously, these are unexpected circumstances and therefore the PST Board will submit a resolution to the AGM on 21/09/2017 seeking approval for the launch of the Community Share withdrawal scheme to allow that 5% limit to be exceeded. In addition, because the assets of the PST will be significantly reduced by this scheme it is important that members approve this action.

Withdrawal process

Shareholders will be invited to apply for the withdrawal and refund of their Community Share or Shares. Shareholders will receive their own unique withdrawal application form, which will need to be completed and returned with copies of documents to prove identity, address and shareholder status.

These will be reviewed by a team for approval. As the PST has no employees and all officers are volunteers, we will be batching these to process once a month, and we ask for patience from shareholders while we go through this process. We will make our best endeavours to complete this process as quickly as possible.

Options for Shareholders

As part of the refund process, we wish to offer Shareholders a number of options for how their share proceeds are dealt with. The first option will be a payment to the shareholder. Our strong preference will be to do this via bank transfer. We may by exception offer payment by cheque on request and in person. We will not send cheques in the post, and cash refunds are not an option we will offer.

Other options under consideration include

  • Prepayment of future years of membership (Community shareholder membership will expire on 30 June following the withdrawal of their share)
  • Payment to Pompey in the Community as a donation from the shareholder for a project that will be identified
  • Payment to the PST as a donation for a project that will be identified

We will also offer the possibility of splitting the share between a refund and any of the other options.

The PST Board would like to hear suggestions for any community projects that members feel that the PST and/or Pompey in the Community could fund with these proceeds, and we will shortly launch a consultation exercise for this. We are particularly interested in suggestions for projects that would leave a lasting legacy for Pompey fans, and we are also open to working with the club on such a scheme.

Next Steps

A more detailed explanation of the process will be published shortly before the AGM to facilitate the resolution to approve the launch of the scheme. In the meantime, if any shareholders or members have questions then please email shares@pompeytrust.com, or come to the Pompey Bus on a matchday.

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