Lord Mayor of Portsmouth buys his share in Pompey

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LIFELONG Pompey fan and city Lord Mayor Frank Jonas has bought a share in Portsmouth Football Club as one of his final acts as the city’s lord mayor.

Hilsea councillor Frank, whose term of office comes to an end on Sunday, was at Fratton Park yesterday to hand over a £1,000 cheque to members of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust.

SHARE Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Frank Jonas with, from left, Mick Williams and Mark Trapani, board members of the Pompey Supporters' Trust. Picture: Sarah Standing (131315-6485)

SHARE Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Frank Jonas with, from left, Mick Williams and Mark Trapani, board members of the Pompey Supporters' Trust. Picture: Sarah Standing (131315-6485)

His pledge is among hundreds which have been made by fans, allowing the trust to become a majority shareholder in the football club.

Cllr Jonas said: ‘I wanted to do this while I was still in office, because if I can inspire other people to pledge then that’s brilliant.

‘Whether people support the football team, or whether they think Portsmouth should keep its club it doesn’t matter – every share counts.

‘People can still buy shares at Fratton Park – all they need to do is turn up with a utility bill and some form of ID and they can do it then and there.’

Putting the cheque safely in his jacket pocket, Pompey board member Mick Williams said: ‘We just want to say thank you to Frank.

‘The shares are still coming in, and we only have about 500 people who pledged to buy shares who have yet to convert.’

Pompey director Mark Trapani, who was also at Fratton Park yesterday, added: ‘We want more and more people to buy shares, that’s the really crucial bit.’

The trust, along with a group of high net-worth individuals officially bought Pompey out of administration on April 19, the day before the final home game of the season.

The money the fans pledged helped fund that bid, and continues to help bankroll the club during the offseason.

Fans’ confidence in the new owners appears to be high as season ticket sales were 60 per cent up on last season on their first day of sale, as reported previously in The News.

Pompey will start next season with a clean sheet in League Two, out of administration and with a raft of new players signed by manager Guy Whittingham.

Frank added: ‘Next season is going to be an interesting one in League Two. They’re going to come to Fratton Park, see what we’ve got and think they’re at Wembley.’