Call for fans to give Pompey’s new owners time

Fratton Park
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Theo Widdrington in action for Pompey's reserves against Everton Picture: Colin Farmery

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THE chairman of a supporters’ group has called on fans to give Pompey’s new owners time to settle in.

Alan Taylor, who heads the PFC Supporters’ Advisory Panel, has joined chief executive David Lampitt in asking for a period of calm so Convers Sports Initiatives can get to grips with the club.

Some fan groups have requested a meeting with new owners Vladimir Antonov, Roman Dubov and Chris Akers, who finally took over on Wednesday.

Their company already owns stakes in numerous sporting ventures, including PowerPlay Golf and Spyker cars, but has suggested it won’t rush into making decisions about Pompey’s future.

This was welcomed by Mr Taylor who said he thought fans should give the group some breathing space.

He said: ‘It’s early days and we need to let them get their feet under the table before we start asking lots of questions.

‘The new owners probably don’t know what they have bought at this stage, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last few years it’s that rushing in and spending lots of money doesn’t solve anything.

‘We don’t want to get into the same situation again.’

He added that it might be better if at first the new owners spent their time talking to the club’s management – rather than the fans.

‘It is not for the fans to demand a meeting right now in my view,’ he said.

‘Different owners have taken different approaches to speaking to supporters, and both extremes have their down sides.

‘Mandaric was criticised for being too open, while Sacha Gaydamak caught flak for completely the opposite reason.

‘I can’t see this group having regular meetings with fans, but to be honest that doesn’t worry me too much.

‘We meet David Lampitt and from discussions I have had with him recently I feel positive about the club’s direction.’

Mr Lampitt said in his view the new owners were taking a sensible approach to the takeover and would reveal their plans when the time is right.

‘I don’t think it would be helpful for any rash promises to be made,’ he said. ‘But there’s a reason for positively looking forward.

‘We can feel these are owners who want to take the club into a better position – in the right way.’

In a statement the spokesman for the Pompey Supporters’ Trust, Scott Mclachlan, said: ‘We respectfully urge the new owners to meet with the trust and address the fans as soon as they can to discuss their plans and how we, the supporters, can help.’