Fans deserve success as they bid to buy Pompey

LAWRENCE MURPHY: A worthy alternative to roasties?

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Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Or, more precisely, we hope that at least 5,000 men and women will step forward with a stake of £1,000 in Pompey’s future.

That is the aspiration of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust and one that we would back.

The trust has, over the weeks and months of uncertainty and sometimes despair at Fratton Park, worked tirelessly behind the scenes to seek to safeguard the future of the club.

Today those fans who have put a huge amount of time and effort into the task make their boldest move yet.

Faced with the knowledge that the club cannot continue to lurch from crisis to crisis and that still there appears no viable buyer on the horizon, they have decided to seek to break the football mould and make Pompey England’s first major fans-owned club.

The challenge is not inconsiderable.

In order for it to succeed, a significant number of supporters need to see the sense, and attraction, of investing a sizeable sum of money in the club.

That in economically-difficult times and against a backdrop of many supporters still having a mistrust in the club because of the deeds of previous administrations.

But set against that is the fact that anyone investing is able to withdraw their money at any time and that, this time, the hoped-for purchase is being co-ordinated by people who have nothing but the best interests of Pompey at heart.

Those supporters deserve success – and they themselves deserve support.

We hope that such backing will come from genuine fans of the club who see this initiative as a real chance of starting afresh after a calamitous chapter in Pompey’s proud history.

There will perhaps need to be a debate around whether the city council should give hard cash backing as well as verbal support to the trust’s buy-out plan.

And obviously there will need to be a clear business plan on how supporters could run a successful football club.

But where there is a will, there is a way.

Play up Pompey!