Loyal businesses in and around Portsmouth have shown their support for Pompey by buying shares in the community club.
Members of Portsmouth Property Association (PPA) kicked off their financial investment in the League Two side by acquiring two shares worth £1,000 each.
In an historic first for the PPA, the 94-year-old association formed two 10-people syndicates, with members contributing £100.
PPA secretary Neil Hawkins said: ‘A number of us here at the PPA are steadfast season ticket holders and, as part of the community, we’ve stood with Pompey in good times and bad.
‘It seems only right that we show our unwavering support for the largest fan-owned football club in England by investing in its future with money and helping with sustainable growth.’
Neil, a chartered surveyor at Chandler Hawkins in Portsmouth, added: ‘It’s a welcome relief to see Portsmouth FC, which won the FA Cup in 2008 and 1939 and the English league in 1949 and 1950, back on an even keel following three relegations, two administrations and five different owners.
‘The best return we can get on our outlay is for Pompey to return to top-flight form, underpinned by exemplary financial management.
“Our shareholding is very much a vote of confidence in the club’s future.’
Shares in the community club, of which the Pompey Supporters Trust (PST) is the principal shareholder, entitles the PPA to attend shareholder meetings and exercise voting rights.
The soccer club’s roots date back to 1898. In September 2014 the club announced that all legacy debts, taken on as part of its exit from administration in April, were fully settled, two years ahead of schedule.
Pompey’s chief executive, Mark Catlin, said: ‘Our focus is very much on looking forward and we can do that with the incredible backing of the supporters, including members of the PPA.
‘The backing of fans, such as the PPA, is like having a 12th man on the field at Fratton Park as we rebuild this wonderful club.’
PPA members who contributed: Chandler Hawkins; commercial property consultancy Hughes Ellard in Fareham; estate agency Pearsons in Fareham and Southsea; estate agent Fairhalls in Gosport; Lloyds Bank in Portsmouth; estate agency Chinneck Shaw; estate agency Brewers in Cosham; legal firm Coffin Mew in Portsmouth; Handelsbanken bank; commercial law firm Graeme Quar & Co in Fareham; property management firm Dack; Carnelian Property Services in Portsmouth; NatWest bank in Fareham and solicitors Churchers Bolitho Way in Portsmouth.
Members of the PPA include estate, lettings and property management agents, commercial property agents, chartered surveyors, accountants, solicitors and bankers.
The organisation was established in 1920, when King George V reigned, Lloyd George was Prime Minister and the body of The Unknown Warrior from the First World War arrived from France for symbolic burial in Westminster Abbey.