Eisner: Pompey future income relies on badge change
Pompey's present club crest could impact on the club's potential income in the long term.
That is the warning from Michael Eisner as he targets altering the Blues’ badge should his takeover be approved.
The American billionaire is concerned the city rather than the club own the existing design.
He believes that absence of copyright impedes attempts to capitalise on Pompey’s popularity.
It’s an issue Eisner admits is not a major concern at present – but for the long term is adamant it requires addressing.
He said: ‘Of course I would have immediately agreed to the crest and I love the crest – the trouble is the club doesn’t own the crest.
‘The city owns the crest on a non-exclusive licence, and since the club came out of administration it has never even registered the crest.
‘The crest is the essence of their visibility. I really know about this coming from a company which really cares about intellectual property – to have complete worldwide control you cannot have it so similar, there is confusion in the mind of the audience.
‘Right now, somebody could take a baseball cap, put that crest on it or one very much like it, and sell it a block from Fratton Park. There is nothing you can do.
‘The team on the pitch may be great, but you need to use every means of revenue to afford it.
‘If you don’t have a crest you can use without every pirate in the world stealing it, then you don’t have anything.’
Eisner concedes he has not yet spoken to Portsmouth City Council over crest copyright.
Instead, he aims to revamp the Star and Crescent emblem.
He added: ‘I doubt whether the city is going to take the crest away from 57,000 people who have the rights to it.
‘What you have to do is take the essence of what that crest is, which is the half moon, the eight-pointed star, the blue colour.
‘Then you change it just enough of a way that it is unique and different and you can get a copyright.
‘I don’t think in the short term it is that big a deal, merchandise is not that big a deal at present.
‘But if you are actually successful in growing this club you have to think of these things. You have to think long term,
‘If you get successful do you actually own the rights to be successful? And that is the issue with the crest.’
– NEIL ALLEN