Pompey pay back £1.45m loan to the city council

GROUND Fratton Park
GROUND Fratton Park

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PORTSMOUTH Football Club has paid back its £1.45m council loan.

And the club’s new owners say they are determined to show fans it will not get into a financial mess as previous owners have done.

As reported, Pompey fans scored a victory back in February, when club secured a loan.

The Pompey Supporters’ Trust got the £1.45m from Portsmouth City Council in order to take over the club.

Council members unanimously voted in favour of rubber stamping the payment after hearing that the financial situation had greatly improved at Pompey since the local authority put the money aside for the club in August last year.

The trust also promised it would pay back the money in full after five months of being in charge of the club.

In a statement released on the club’s website yesterday, it confirmed it had repaid the loan with interest.

It said: ‘Portsmouth Football Club is pleased to confirm that the loan from Portsmouth City Council, to enable the community bid to buy Fratton Park, has been repaid with interest. We would like to thank the council for its support.’

The club hopes this will show it is committed to keeping a clean sheet.

Micah Hall, engagement manager for Pompey, said: ‘We have paid the loan back on time and with interest.

‘This is an issue of trust – it’s not what it was like with previous owners.

‘They haven’t had the trust of fans, lenders or financial institutions.

‘This shows we are serious and want to rebuild the trust.

‘We don’t want to incur expenses that we are unable to repay.’

Councillor Gerald Vernon Jackson, leader of the city council, called the authority ‘courageous’ for lending the cash in the first place, which was repaid with £26,000 of interest.

He said: ‘We as a council were quite courageous to give a loan to a supporters’ trust to buy a club.

‘But if we had not done that then there would be no club, because it would have gone into liquidation.’

He added: ‘But every single penny has been repaid and that’s great.

‘It’s great news that council tax payers got their money back but it’s also great news for the club.’