Pompey Supporters’ Trust push forward plans for new share scheme

Ashley Brown, left, with Paul Cook, Mark Catlin and Iain McInnes. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ashley Brown, left, with Paul Cook, Mark Catlin and Iain McInnes. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Ashley Brown has revealed the Pompey Supporters’ Trust are seeking to reopen their share issue to boost funds.

And among the aims on the Trust’s wish list are the potential purchase of more shares in Pompey or even contributing towards a new Fratton Park stand.

As detailed in The News yesterday, the club’s board is exploring the possibility of inviting new investment.

In the meantime, the Trust are pushing forward with plans to bolster their finances by launching another share scheme.

The fans’ group are keen to maintain a contribution to the progress of a club which has rebuilt since coming out of administration in April 2013.

Pompey’s aim is to reach Championship-level at the very minimum, while research into the viability of a new ground is continuing.

And the Trust’s vision will be discussed with members at tonight’s AGM in the Victory Lounge at Fratton Park (7pm).

Brown, who is chairman of the Trust and also sits on Pompey’s board, told The News: ‘At some point there needs to be further investment in Portsmouth Football Club.

‘Whether that is help financing a new stand, a new ground or possibly climbing further up the league, it was decided to make that public at this point in time to encourage that investment.

‘The treasurer’s report is saying that time is undoubtedly coming up – although until such time the club make clear their plans then nothing happens.

‘However, what I can assure you is the board of the football club will continue to discuss this.

‘There is no desperate need for investment at the football club, we have a sustainable model, our accounts are published and clear for everybody to see.

‘But if you want to look to the future and want to grow and improve then there needs to be further investment.

‘The size of the Trust’s stake would depend on whether it is able to encourage fans to invest further as well. It could stay the same, it could go down or it could increase, it entirely depends on the level of investment and where it comes from.

‘Reopening our share offer in the near future to build-up funds is something the Trust board is definitely considering.

‘We can open our share issue and build funds, but until the football club is willing to offer more shares we wouldn’t be able to spend it on Pompey shares.

‘Those funds could also be used for a new stand, if that is what the football club decided to do, or any number of things.

‘When the future model is announced, we would have to make it very clear what our expectations are. It used to be too vague and it’s important for the Trust to get that right.

‘From a Trust perspective I expect we will be in a position to say what we are looking to do before the end of the year.’

Meanwhile, Brown reiterated the importance of added investment to compete effectively in the Championship.

He added: ‘The Championship is made-up of a number of clubs with up to three years of parachute payments.

‘You are dealing with playing budgets which are significantly high and, while you would also expect standard revenues to increase, it’s a difficult balancing act.’

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