Eisner: No stupid risks at Pompey

MICHAEL EISNER toasted his Pompey arrival and insisted: We must manage intelligently.

Thursday, 3rd August 2017, 8:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:49 am
Michael Eisner, right, and Eric Eisner at Fratton Park. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The American billionaire yesterday clinched his takeover of the Blues following almost 10 weeks of due diligence.

It brings his Tornante investment group to Fratton Park, taking over the reins from community ownership.

Eisner has long insisted he will not be throwing money at the club, instead operating self-sufficiency and steadily improving the infrastructure.

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As a result, the existing playing budget will not be changed upon his arrival.

Yet the 75-year-old has stressed the importance of sensibly overseeing the football club.

He told The News: ‘Your whole thinking has got to be long-term. You have to build and not keep spending money on players.

‘Teams have multiple players, it’s not just one player. Yes, one player can make a difference, but it has got to be steady, smart and complete.

‘It’s about risk but reasonable risk, not stupid risk.

‘I am advocating intelligent management, that’s all. And particularly intelligent ownership.

‘Don’t do stupid things which you see happening not just in English football but everywhere because an owner’s identity is with winning. It is all about who they are, they don’t want to go to a restaurant and be a loser.

‘I’ve had enough success, I don’t want to be a loser, but I don’t have to throw everything at being a winner.

‘We bought a baseball team which had never won the world series – and won the world series.

‘We started an ice hockey team with nothing from nowhere – and won the Stanley Cup.

‘Like Odysseus, I have to tie myself to the mast and control myself because I, like everybody else, want it and I want it yesterday.

‘But I have to say to myself “No, just because everybody else says it this way doesn’t mean we will have to do it this way”.’

Following the £5.67m deal, Eisner and his three sons, Breck, Eric and Anders, will sit on a board also containing Tornante president Andy Redman and Mark Catlin.

And Pompey’s chief executive has reiterated the desire for sustainability.

Catlin added: ‘It was made quite clear that we eat what we kill. We are not changing the budget.

‘But Tornante are looking to give us the tools to build a strong foundation and structure so we can generate more money off the field in the coming years.

‘That can be through increased capacity at some time in the future or increased commercial revenue by investing into commercial ventures that can then enable myself as chief executive to generate more funds.

‘That is going to be a while into the distance. They are not in the habit of breaking promises. And the promise they have given is this club will be run sustainably.’