University of Portsmouth renews sponsorship deal Portsmouth Football Club in bid to raise aspirations of city children

A GAME-changing opportunity to reverse an educational ‘tragedy’ and boost the aspirations of disheartened youngsters is on the cards after a fresh deal was struck between Pompey and the University of Portsmouth.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 5:30 pm
Portsmouth owner and chairman Michael Eisner and vice-chancellor of the University of Portsmouth Prof Graham Galbraith. Portsmouth FC and the University of Portsmouth announce that the university will be Pompey's shirt sponsor next season, Fratton Park, Portsmouth Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The two institutions have once again joined forces as part of a renewed three-year sponsorship arrangement, which will strengthen the links between both Portsmouth Football Club and the university as its main partner.

The partnership will see both organisations working hand in glove, with Pompey ‘heroes’ joining the university’s outreach programme to inner-city schools.

And it’s a move the university’s vice-chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith hopes will be the silver bullet finally unlocking the potential ‘talented’ pool of children – many of whom he said lacked the self-belief to consider going on to further education.

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Prof Galbraith said: ‘For many of these young people, the university’s sponsorship of Portsmouth FC is their only connection with a university.

‘I want the next generation to be inspired to start their journey into higher education by seeing the University of Portsmouth on their favourite players’ jerseys, watching our students film the matches at Fratton Park or hearing the players speak at their schools.

‘The skills and opportunities offered by higher education are not open to everyone in our community and this needs to change. Sixty-six per cent of 18-year-olds in Chelsea and Fulham apply to university – in Portsmouth it is 25 per cent.

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‘By continuing to work together, the University and the Football Club will help more people from Portsmouth go as far as their talent and ambition can take them.’

The university will continue to have its logo on the front of Pompey shirts for all first team games, as well as static and LED pitchside boards and the big screen.

More than 150 work experience opportunities for students at Pompey, previously created as part of the last deal, will continue.

As will a new scholarship set up last year to help disadvantaged young people head to university.

Pompey chairman Michael Eisner said: ‘We are delighted to extend our successful partnership with the University of Portsmouth.

‘Both institutions play a massive – and vitally important – role within the city and it’s exciting that we have the opportunity to build on a very successful past three years.’

‘The launch of the Portsmouth Football Club Scholarship programme has confirmed our commitment to this alliance, providing an opportunity for young people who might have otherwise not been able to attend university.’

Prof Galbraith hoped the renewed deal would help raise Portsmouth’s aspirations and said: ‘The city is one that tends to be reticent and shy and people tend to underestimate their capabilities.

‘I think this is a really big issue for our city because our city could be so much more than it is if we are able to capitalise on the talent that is here.

‘I think it’s a tragedy that for many, many years we’ve not really focused on it.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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