Previous updates
By Simon Colebrook

Update on 27/10/2017

The Community Share Withdrawal Scheme has so far received over 1,600 applications. Approximately 1,500 of these applications have been verified and authenticated.

We previously stated that we were hoping to make the first payments this week, but unfortunately this has proven to be unachievable due to circumstances beyond our control.

As part of setting up the scheme, we have had to obtain new banking facilities as our usual bank informed us that they would not allow us to operate the scheme through our account with them. The opening of a new account has been ongoing for the last 3 months, as some high street banks indicated that they were unwilling or unable to assist us. This is, in part, because the activity of receiving a large amount of money and distributing it to 2,500 recipients triggered money laundering concerns even though this is a well-publicised business transaction. This has required us to jump through several hoops to give our chosen bank the necessary legal comfort that this is not the case. We had hoped this would be completed two weeks ago but delays as more and more information was requested has meant that the process of opening an account only completed yesterday.

We are anticipating that we will be able to start making payments towards the end of next week (week commencing 30th October), pending receipt of the relevant login information to the banks systems. These payments will be made in the order that forms were received by us.

In recognition of the delay, we are extending the cut off for inclusion in this first payment batch to today, 27th October. Any forms received after today will be held securely for processing at the end of November.

The PST Board would like to apologise for the delay in getting the first batch completed and would like to reassure all applicants that the processing team is doing its best to get the applications completed and paid as soon as possible.

If you have not received a letter inviting you to apply to withdraw your share, please contact Steve Hatton, the Membership Secretary on members@pompeytrust.com. He will be able to send you a duplicate letter via email..

Finally, a few applicants have requested that we destroy the ID documents supplied after payment of the withdrawal. We need to retain these as evidence that we have paid the correct person, in case of any claims that we have not done so. The documents will be held securely for one year and then destroyed by a secure document destruction contractor.


Update on 14/10/2017

The Community Share Withdrawal Scheme has been open since 22nd September. We have seen a steady stream of applications for withdrawal coming in since that date, with over 1500 so far received.

We previously stated that processing of the first monthly batch would start during the week commencing 16/10, with a goal of making the first payment run on the week after that. Given the volumes of applications, the processing team started this work early on the 7th October.

We also previously advised that the deadline for receipt of applications to be included in this month’s batch would be 13th October. In order to ensure as many people as possible get included in the first batch we are extending that deadline to 20th October. We are still aiming to make the first payments in the week of the 23rd, but a significant number will carry over into the following week.

Any applications received after the 20th October will carry forward to our next batch which will be processed towards the end of November.

A number of members have kindly offered to assist with the processing of applications, for which we are very grateful. However, we have also had several members express concerns regarding data protection of the information and documents supplied and an understandable desire to have as few people as possible having access to the documents. For that reason, we have decided to keep the processing team as small as possible and to decline the offers of assistance.

So far, we have seen a substantial level of donations to Pompey in the Community, the Pompey History Society and also many shareholders choosing to prepay for future membership of the PST. We will update our members with final totals after we finish this month’s batch.

If you have not received a letter inviting you to apply to withdraw your share, please contact Steve Hatton, the Membership Secretary on members@pompeytrust.com. He will be able to send you a duplicate letter via email..

Finally, we have also had some interest from shareholders wishing to donate their withdrawal to other organisations, for example, Pompey Ladies. Any shareholders wishing to do so will need to make their own arrangements with those organisations after having received their refund.


Update on 18/09/2017

Since the last update, the Board have been working to put in place a scheme that will meet the following goals:

  • Allow the efficient processing of potentially 2500 requests, without error
  • Detect and prevent fraudulent requests
  • Offer a choice for the withdrawal to be paid to the shareholders or to Pompey related causes
  • Offer the option to retain the share for future investment projects

To meet those goals the following scheme has been devised and authorisation to proceed will be sought at the AGM on 21/09/2017

  • A personalised individually unique application form will be posted to every shareholder
  • To prevent fraud, this form will not be downloadable for our website
  • The form will contain options to request a refund and have it paid in any combination of the following
    • A refund to the shareholder
    • Prepayment of 5 years, 10 years or lifetime membership of the PST 
    • A donation to Pompey in the Community
    • A donation to the Pompey History Society
    • A donation to the PST 
  • The form will also allow the shareholder to indicate that they wish to retain their share
  • Applicants will need to submit two forms of ID that are listed on the form
  • Refunds will be paid by bank transfer and thus bank details are required
  • All requests with valid proof of ID will be authorised for refund. The PST Board will not reject any even though this will significantly reduce the assets of the PST. 
  • The scheme will run until 30 September 2018, during this time the limitation that only 5% of shareholders can withdraw in any year is suspended
  • After 30 September 2018, the 5% limit will resume and any requests will be at the discretion of the PST Board after consideration of the needs of the PST to fund its activities and any projects it is undertaking
  • Suggestions for projects will be published in the next few months and thus shareholders are welcome to delay deciding on whether to request a withdrawal until then.
  • An authorisation team will meet every month during the third week of the month with the aim of reviewing all applications received and processing them for payment the following week. 
  • The first such processing window will be the week commencing 16th October 2017. The cutoff for applications to be processed that week will be Friday 13th October. 

For those that have not heard of it, The Pompey History Society is a newly founded society that purchases items of Pompey memorabilia to preserve our heritage for future generations. The Society also is working towards creating a permanent museum to house a collection which will tell the rich history of the south’s most successful football club. If you would like to find out more about the Pompey History Society then please contact history@pompeyfc.co.uk.

If any shareholders or members have further questions then please email shares@pompeytrust.com, or come to the Pompey Bus on a matchday.


Update on 10/08/2017

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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