Pompey president declares Eisner takeover stance

American billionaire Michael Eisner wants to buy Pompey
American billionaire Michael Eisner wants to buy Pompey
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1 Southend 0: They said what

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Pompey president Peter Lee has declared his support for Michael Eisner’s Blues bid.

And he is adamant the vast majority of his fellow presidents would not be willing to contribute to the Pompey Supporters’ Trust’s proposals for alternative funding.

Lee, who is based in Colorado, remains a regular visitor to Fratton Park and will be in attendance for Saturday’s final match of the campaign against Cheltenham.

He met Eisner and the president and chief operating officer of Tornante, Andy Redman, in America before takeover interest became public.

As one of 16 presidents, Lee possesses 50 shares in the club and indicated he will be approving the Tornante offer.

Chairman of the Trust, Ashley Brown, has claimed a ‘handful’ of presidents would be ‘interested’ in putting in more money to enable fan ownership to continue.

But Lee believes many of his colleagues favour a takeover by Eisner.

He said: ‘Many in the football world can’t believe how lucky we are to have this interest from Tornante.

‘There are one or two areas in the bid that would benefit from tightening up, but I think when Tornante get to explain the reasoning behind some of their positions most people will see where they are coming from.

‘Our ambition moving forward should be to compete in the Championship at least.

‘If we can’t provide the finances necessary to do that, are we the right owners for the club moving forward?

‘Generally, the presidents are cautiously optimistic about it and keen to meet with Michael in person to get some details.

‘In my opinion, Michael Eisner and Tornante are the right next step for this great club.

‘I wouldn’t put more money into the current model and I am not the only president to feel like that.

‘If the club is on its knees and going out of business, that’s one thing, but we have a credible way to take the club forward – and this is the preferred route.

‘The Trust have not approached the presidents as a group to ask who would be willing to put more money in. And I wouldn’t be.’

In addition to the presidents, Iain McInnes (218 shares), Chris Moth (600 shares) and John Kirk (600 shares) sit on the Pompey board.

The Trust are the largest single shareholder with 2,750 shares, equating to 48.48 per cent of the club.

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