Comment: Billionaire’s coming? Pompey need to be on their way first

Kal Naismith celebrates scoring for Pompey against Grimsby. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kal Naismith celebrates scoring for Pompey against Grimsby. Picture: Joe Pepler
Luke McGee

Pompey fans debate need for keeper move

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Some feel the excitement while others will treat the interest in Pompey with suspicion.

Both sentiments are entirely understandable. It’s a fans’ lot to reach for the stars and dream of the kind of backing needed to take flight.

Pompey supporters at the Lamex Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey supporters at the Lamex Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler

Likewise, the pragmatic stance borne out of being burnt by a succession of fly-by-night merchants is undeniably a valid position.

The people fought hard to save their club, so handing it over to the Blues’ first public suitor goes against many instincts.

What isn’t in doubt, however, is the timing could’ve been better.

Michael Eisner’s interest in investing in Pompey is big news. The biggest to emerge in a long while around these parts.

This isn’t an out-of-contract midfielder signing for a couple of months, or a squad player agreeing a loan deal as defensive back-up.

This is an American billionaire keen to invest in the Blues. A man who’s appeared on Forbes’ list of the richest people in the world and was ranked the 11th richest Hollywood power broker in 2015.

The former Walt Disney Company CEO’s interest in Pompey is kosher. Is that exciting? Quite possibly. Intriguing? For sure. A distraction? Absobleedinlutely.

Yesterday afternoon saw news of talks with Eisner arrive exclusively at, with the off-the-scale viewing figures underlining the significance of the story.

The consequences are far-reaching and potentially defining for Pompey as the community era continues. But similar weight could be afforded the bid to get out of League Two at the fourth attempt.

With eight games remaining, Paul Cook’s men find themselves in a strong position to see that challenge through to a successful conclusion.

And that has to be where the focus lies for the next seven weeks.

A feel-good factor has been growing, and Eisner witnessed that in full flow seven days ago as he took in the 4-0 romp over Grimsby.

Weekend defeat at Stevenage ended a run of three wins on the bounce and a single loss from nine games.

But the defiance shown by Pompey supporters at the Lamex Stadium, and largely favourable weekend results, speak of impetus being carried forward into the weekend meeting with struggling Newport County. Capitalising on having their fate in their own hands now has to be the sole focus.

The News’ position on Eisner’s interest is clear. The people who fought to save the club will decide its path forward. Shareholders – and Pompey Supporters’ Trust is the largest – have earned that position.

But the caveat to that statement should read a promotion battle is no landscape for bickering and in-fighting.

So PST’s measured response to the hooplah of Eisner’s interest is to be applauded. Likewise, the club’s statement on the matter.

The mantra has been Pompey are ‘on their way’ in recent weeks. That may well be the case with Eisner, too, and a brighter horizon. There’s a job to be completed first, though – and that’s where all energies need to be focused right now.