FAQ for Community Share Withdrawal Scheme
By Simon Colebrook

Frequently Asked Questions about the Community Share Withdrawal Scheme

See below for our most Frequently Asked Questions regarding the upcoming Community Share Withdrawal Scheme. If you don't find the answer you're looking for then please email [email protected]


What is the Community Share Withdrawal Scheme?

Following the sale by the PST of the shares it owned in Pompey, the PST Board will be offering the Community Shareholders the opportunity to withdraw their shares and be repaid the £1000 they paid to purchase them, or to instruct the Board to do something else with the proceeds.


Why haven’t I been paid by Tornante/Michael Eisner for my share?

The shares in the football club were not the same thing as the Community Shares in the PST.

The Community Shareholders purchased shares in the PST. The proceeds of this were used by the PST to fund the rescue of the club from Administration in 2013, and became the shares in the club that the PST owned.

Tornante purchased the shares in the football club from the PST, and the proceeds of that sale are held by the PST. The next step is to put in place a withdrawal scheme so that Community Shareholders can withdraw their money should they choose to do so.


Why can’t you just send out the money, why do I have to apply for it?

There are several reasons for this.

Firstly, a number of Community Shareholders have stated that they wish to either donate their money to a charity such as Pompey in the Community, or that they wish to leave it in the PST. Therefore, the PST Board wanted to give Shareholders a choice for how they wish their Share to be dealt with.

Secondly, in the 4 years since issuing the shares, many people will have moved or changed banks and the PST therefore needs to ensure that the money goes to the right place.

Finally, the PST Board has to ensure that the risk of fraud or mistake is minimised. As the income from Tornante is equal to the price originally paid, there is no extra money to cover any losses if fraudulent claims are not prevented or money is paid to the wrong recipient and not recovered.

For these reasons, the PST Board feel that the best solution is to ask Community Shareholders to apply for their share withdrawal. No Shareholder who matches our records or who can otherwise provide evidence of their share ownership will be denied their choice of what happens to their share.


Why does the PST need a vote at the AGM to approve the Withdrawal Scheme?

There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, the Community Share offer included a term that only 5% of the shares can be redeemed in any year. The reasons for this term made sense at the time, when the total sale of the club was not being contemplated. Obviously things have changed significantly, but the PST Board does not feel it can simply ignore a term of the share issue without being explicitly authorised to do so.

Secondly, the Withdrawal Scheme could potential reduce the assets of the PST by up to 98%. This is a very significant change to the PST.

The rules of the PST delegate a significant amount of power to the PST Board. However, the Board must always be sure that it is acting in the interest of the community it serves and with the approval of the membership. We are a Community Benefit Society regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and as such any single member can challenge our actions or raise a complaint if the Board are seen to be acting without authority

Therefore the Board feel that the safest course of action is to pass a resolution at the AGM authorising the Withdrawal Scheme.


Can’t you call a Special General Meeting or bring forward the AGM

The timing of the AGM is bound up with the timing of our annual elections to the Board which are currently in progress. Also, the same PST officers manage the elections and the AGM arrangements.

Additionally, there are a number of arrangements for the Withdrawal Scheme that need to be put in place to cope with a potential 2500 applications in an efficient and timely manner. For example, there are new banking facilities required, application forms and communications need to be drafted, processes and procedures decided and put in place. The focus of the Board before the sale was completed was to get the sale done as it was important to complete that before the start of the season.

Therefore, the Board felt that the AGM in September was a natural time to get approval for the Withdrawal Scheme and also allowed time to ensure everything is ready.


You have said that you will be processing the applications in monthly batches. What does this mean, am I going to have to wait a year for my share withdrawal?

What we mean by monthly batches is that we do not have a team of employees who can process applications everyday as they come in. Since we are volunteers with day jobs or other commitments, we will gather all the applications received in the month and process them in one go at the end of the month.

Our aim will be to process all the applications received each month no matter how many they are and we will make our best endeavours to do so. There will be no arbitrary cap set on the number that can be processed in a month.

The PST Board is as keen as everyone else to complete this process as quickly as possible and has no desire for it to drag on for months.


Is the PST receiving interest on the proceeds and what will happen to it?

Unfortunately, with interest rates as they are at the moment there are no business current accounts offering interest. The PST Board have looked to see where some interest return could be achieved and this would require the money to be placed on minimum term deposit, typically 90+ days, and even then only achieves a 1% AER return. Whilst this could still be a sizeable sum, it would be inappropriate to place the money on minimum term deposit until we have a better understanding of how many Community Shareholders will request the withdrawal of their shares.


I paid into a syndicate, what do I do?

The PST did not manage or adminster any syndicates. Every syndicate share was registered to a single person who managed that syndicate and was the registered holder of the syndicate share. Anyone who contributed toward a syndicate will need to contact the syndicate administrator for further information.

Rocket Fuel