Catlin: Pompey takeover firmly on track

Michael Eisner's Pompey takeover remains on track.

Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 8:58 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:52 am
American billionaire Michael Eisner Picture: Neil Marshall

That is the view of Mark Catlin as the £5.67m deal progresses towards its anticipated summer completion.

The Blues chief executive, however, is reluctant to pinpoint a timeframe for when the agreement will be sealed.

It has been 37 days since shareholders overwhelmingly delivered approval for the Tornante deal.

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Since that moment, lawyers have been thrashing out the finer details of the move which will see Pompey relinquish community ownership.

At the time of May’s shareholder vote, the takeover was expected to be completed within six to eight weeks.

Catlin insists that remains the case – and American Eisner is edging ever nearer towards taking ownership.

‘It is going as planned and things are progressing. This is very, very normal,’ said Catlin.

‘Despite the ongoing takeover, things at the club are carrying on as they normally would at this time of year.

‘The situation at present is they are in the process of conducting due diligence.

‘Solicitors from all parties are actively engaging in the completion process, things are proceeding well and we are hoping to complete as soon as possible.

‘I believe when the vote went through all parties were looking at a timeframe of six to eight weeks.

‘But, as everyone knows, when you’re buying a house let alone a business, you can never really put an accurate timescale to these things.

‘I am not going to give a timescale. It’s very difficult for me to do that on something completely out of my hands, I don’t like to do that.

‘When things are within your control I don’t mind putting my head above the parapet and giving a timeframe – but when it is not in your control it is always foolhardy.

‘It would be nice to get it done as soon as possible.

‘However, it is important for both parties that the process is conducted diligently and everyone is happy with the end result.’

Despite Catlin declining to put a date on completion, July remains the expected outcome.

Eisner himself last week tweeted of his intent to be present at Fratton Park for the League One kick off.

Kenny Jackett’s side are to host Rochdale on August 5 in a curtain raiser which marks the Blues’ return to the division.

In the meantime, Pompey continue to be run by the club board, which includes Catlin and outgoing chairman Iain McInnes.

Catlin remains in touch with Eisner and is comfortable with how conversations are progressing on all Pompey fronts.

He added: ‘Consistent dialogue continues with myself and Tony Brown and the existing board – as well as Michael Eisner and his Tornante group.’