FOOTBALLING history is a step closer to being made after the Pompey Supporters’ Trust exchanged contracts to buy the club out of administration.
It means that as long as the Royal Courts of Justice value the Fratton Park stadium at a price the trust can afford, Pompey will become the largest fan-owned club in history.
It will be owned by the PST and individual high net worth investors.
Iain McInnes has been formally appointed as club chairman, while Ashley Brown remains chairman of the trust itself.
He said: ‘We are delighted to announce that on Thursday afternoon we exchanged contracts with PKF for the acquisition of PFC. We must now focus on securing the release of the charge on Fratton Park which in turn will trigger the completion of the deal.
‘We are on the verge of creating football history. Several thousand fans are already part of that and we urge others to now join us so that they to will own a part of their club.
‘We are confident of success in the court, but we would still welcome the opportunity to settle quickly and allow us to start the job of rebuilding the club with the community and supporters at its heart.’
Mr McInnes added: ‘If you believe it you can achieve it. I’m proud to be part of a group of people who have collectively pulled together to get us this far. Finally the fans can see the end of what’s been a very long and challenging haul.
‘We will not be counting any chickens just yet particularly as there’s due process to go through. However I believe that if a bid is to be judged on its merits, financially, operationally and motive then there can be only one outcome. So let’s get on and get this done.
‘The simple fact is that every penny we raise as fans, whether through the trust or as individual fan investors, will contribute directly to the rebuilding of our club.
‘The money we have raised will be the most significant capital - as opposed to loan - injection the club has had in the past 30 years. It will mean Pompey fans will be in control of the destiny of our club.’
The deal hinges on the judge allowing Pompey’s administrators PKF to sell the club, including its principal asset Fratton Park, for a ‘market value’ and in the process satisfying the charge Portpin Ltd has.
The PST has raised around £2m through a share issue and confidence is high more fans will now join the trust share scheme. The trust will use the money raised to have a majority shareholding in the club, with the balance of shares owned by individual Pompey fan investors.
PKF administrator Trevor Birch said: ‘We can confirm that the administrators have now exchanged contracts with the PST for its purchase of Portsmouth Football Club.
‘Completion is conditional only upon the court sanctioning the sale of Fratton Park and the Football League transferring the membership share.’