Mark A Trapani (Twitter @slowhandtrap)
I came to my first Pompey game in Autumn of 1980 when we first moved from West London to Portsmouth. I became friends with (and sponsor of) Goal Keeper Peter Mellor. I ‘got the Pompey bug’ and have been going ever since.
As the Managing Director of Snows Motor Group Limited and based at Snows BMW Dealership along Eastern Road, Portsmouth I have always had great ties with our football club, supplying players, managers and staff with cars for years! I used to love it when Pompey signed new players as it gave me a business opportunity!
I live in Southsea and I am the only Pompey Director to live and work on Portsea Island. Many of my customers are Pompey fans and they always get a special deal on their new BMW or MINI car! I am also a Dickensian Vagabond and lead guitarist in The Hatricks. You will often find me with a guitar over my shoulder when I’m not working at Snows or fulfilling my duties as a Trust Board member and Director of Pompey.
During the Championship winning season and all the Premiership Years, we were Partners of PFC and travelled to Wembley 5 times and I enjoyed following the Team in Europe. Being passionate about everything Pompey, I joined Pompey Supporters Trust when it first formed and subsequently became an active member! I have a clear understanding of what makes a business succeed in today’s extremely challenging Business environment.
I was co-opted onto the Board in September 2011 as the Trust believed that they needed to forge stronger links with its members and with the local business community. My first task was to organise the production of a new Trust Leaflet and to making amendments to the identity. I became one of the Bid Team in February 2012 and was one of the three driving forces behind the bid to take the club out of Administration. On 26th March 2012, I presented to the PST Board the idea of a Community Share Issue and I proposed that the share offer would have to be £1000 a share with an initial show of commitment of £100. The motion was passed 8:1.
History will show that we completed the takeover of our Great Football Club on 19th April 2013. The work that the PST Board completed in record time and against all odds has built a very strong bond and whilst we don’t always agree on all things, we are a strong and united voice ready to burn the midnight oil to make the Football Club and the Trust stronger and more successful.
In return for my contribution to saving our Club I was made a Director of PCFC a position I am proud and honoured to hold. My initial role within the Club was to look after the Catering and Banqueting. I was instrumental in removing the previous catering Company and for bringing all match day catering in-house. We now have a full time C&B Manager who has improved the Match day experience and my so my direct involvement in this area has much reduced. On Match days you will always find me amongst our fans making sure that the catering side of the operation is working well and that our fans are happy with our performance off the field! I rarely take my place in the Directors box on match days preferring to sit with the fans and being liberated to be ‘one of us’.
I also have a huge passion for our Academy and the great job this does for both for the Community and the Club. I am currently working with the Trust Board, Alan Knight and the Academy Management to see how the Trust, our members and Pompey fans fans can help the Academy to prosper and to develop great talents like Webster, Chaplin and Whatmough.
When Connor Chaplain scores for Pompey, his goals mean more to me than those of his team-mates. When Jack Whatmough or Adam May run off towards the bench or the Fratton End with arms outstretched and a look of joy stretching from ear to ear, the atmosphere inside Fratton Park becomes highly charged; they are, after all, one of our own.
In the complex world of football, even at our level, there is nothing more fulfilling than believing a player reflects the same passion as the fans. Every time Chaplain pulls on the shirt, he carries out our collective childhood fantasy, and every time he celebrates with the fans, he re-affirms a sense of belonging that comes with supporting Pompey. We all want the same end state for the club and making the Academy succeed makes great sense for all of us.
I love being a Pompey fan and a Trust Board member and I am always available to talk Pompey, to share experiences and to help make the Matchday experience become more enjoyable.
I will always be a Pompey fan and I am challenged to make sure that the Club has a sustainable future for our children and our children’s children.