Fans told trust hopes to bid for Pompey by end of May

Fratton Park

Fratton Park

Carl Baker. Picture: Joe Pepler

Coventry eyeing another Pompey swoop

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POMPEY fans have heard they need to pledge before the end of May if they want to back a supporters’ takeover.

At a packed meeting in Fratton Park’s Victory Lounge fans got the chance to quiz board members from the Pompey Supporters Trust, which is putting together a community bid for the club.

More than 100 supporters turned up to hear trust chairman Ashley Brown, bid-team members Mark Trapani and Mick Williams, and accountant Paul Taylor discuss their plans.

They heard that the trust – with the backing of a number of rich fans – is hoping to be ready by the end of May to make a bid for the club.

Around 600 pledges have been made since the club called for 1,000 more two weeks ago, but Mr Brown told the audience that there is still a limit to how much they can say publicly for fear of damaging the bid.

He said: ‘We are close to the initial target we set ourselves and the total is going up on a daily basis.

‘It will truly an amazing thing if we can pull this off.’

But they did disclose that a number of ‘high net worth’ individuals have offered six-figure sums to help secure the club’s future – with one even pledging £500,000.

Earlier in the day the trust also put out a statement making the case for choosing their bid as an alternative to the one being put forward by two-time former owner Balram Chainrai.

But during the meeting they did not rule out working with the Hong Kong businessman if it was needed to secure the club’s future.

Mr Brown also said the trust has had some ‘very encouraging’ discussions with the city council about getting financial support for their bid.

‘Have the council written a cheque? No. Might they? They might do but they won’t go public. Don’t write them off,’ he said.

Accountant Paul Taylor said it would be a ‘long, long tough road’ to get the club back to where they want it to be, but that they have a three to four year business plan which would see them pay off Pompey’s debts.

Afterwards Mr Williams said he thought the meeting had gone well.

‘There is the problem of feeling like you’re preaching to the converted,’ he said. ‘But the response has been very good.’

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