POMPEY has been held up as a shining example of how fan power can secure the future of a football club.
The government has put together a panel of sports experts who will look at ways supporters can get more involved with the running of their team.
The initiative was launched in Portsmouth yesterday by Minister for Sport Helen Grant in recognition of the community takeover of the Blues.
And during a tour of Fratton Park she praised the fact members of Pompey Supporters’ Trust, which saved the club from extinction, will have a presence in the group.
PST chairman and Pompey director Ashley Brown has been given a seat and PST member Joanna Manning-Cooper will chair the panel.
Mrs Grant told The News: ‘The community takeover seems to have worked very well.
‘The supporters here have gone through an awful lot and there are many lessons to be learned.
‘They will have membership on the group and will be able to impart some of their knowledge.’
Mr Brown said members will be keen to identify how fans can secure a seat on club boards and how community clubs can enjoy the same tax breaks as charitable organisations.
‘The question you have to ask themselves is how well run to you think most of our clubs are today?’ Mr Brown said.
‘We have hundreds of millions of pounds of debt across the football league. We have clubs with owners who are ripping out their history. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen.
‘Ask any Pompey fan, and they understand the history, they all know who Jimmy Dickinson is.’
Flick Drummond, the Conservative Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Portsmouth South, arranged Mrs Grant’s visit.
She said: ‘I’m so pleased the launch was here. This is the most amazing club.’