Trust says hundreds have signed up for Pompey buyout

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett was handed a fresh Fratton Park contract this week  Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey statement defies football’s knee-jerk nature

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The Pompey Supporters Trust says hundreds of people have already pledged their backing for a community takeover of the club.

Trust spokesman Scott Mclachlan described the initial reaction as ‘great’ and said it was hoped thousands more will sign up to the community share scheme over the next few weeks.

He said that as well as individuals, local businesses have come forward to discuss their investment since the initiative was launched last Friday.

There have also been pledges made of more than £1,000, including some five-figure pledges, he said.

But Mr Mclachlan scotched reports that the trust believed it would need to raise £8m to buy Pompey.

He said: ‘There is no set target as yet because there is no price tag on the club.

‘There’s no figure on what the club’s is worth yet because there hasn’t been a CVA put together.

‘To reiterate what Trevor Birch has been saying since last Friday the club is worth what someone will pay for it.

‘We have had a really good start, and have receive many pledges over and above the £1,000 level, including some five-figure pledges, as well as a very decent number of cheques by post for the required £100 at this very early stage in the process.

‘We are looking for thousands to sign up in the next few weeks. It is so important people register their intent to support this scheme and we hope that as more information comes out and more questions are answered then we will get the support to save Pompey.

‘What has encouraged me so far is that people are positive and when they aren’t they are asking the right questions to try and become positive.

‘There is a real appetite in Portsmouth to help save its football club and the trust are delighted with that.’

The trust launched the share scheme last Friday, which invites fans to register an interest in a future share offer to buy the club.

Fans are asked to place an initial £100 deposit before having the chance to acquire a community share for £1,000.

The trust will go to Pompey administrator Trevor Birch with the amount of support the scheme has received once due diligence has been completed, according to Mr Mclachlan.

Although there is no exact figure of the response so far, he added members of the trust and staff at Verisona, the Portsmouth-based law firm handling the share account, will give up their time to handle ‘possibly thousands’ of envelopes in the coming weeks.

He added: ‘I think we’ll know how well it is going for sure by the end of next week and after that we can say more.

‘Easter weekend won’t help us with either the post of interest possibly, which is why we will continue to try and get information out to the fans as much as possible over the coming weeks.’

The trust has launched a website communitypompey.co.uk to explain the buy-out plan in detail.