THESE are the men who will have a substantial stake in Pompey’s future should fans take over at Fratton Park.
The group are dubbed the HNWs – High Net Worths – and they are the key men the Pompey Supporters’ Trust have attracted to boost their bid.
They are Stuart Robinson, John Kirk, Iain McInnes, Chris Moth and Ken Terry.
One of those five, Mr McInnes, is a third-generation, life-long Pompey fan – and his uncle Phil Gunter made 321 league appearances for the club in the 50s and 60s.
He will be Pompey’s chairman should the trust take over.
He said: ‘We’ve made a giant step forward, but there’s still a lot of work to be done and in the event that we’re successful with the bid, I have been offered up as the chairman elect.
‘It’s something I’m honoured about and humbled about.’
He values the amount the five are prepared to put in to the club as ‘a significant seven figure sum, somewhere in the region of £1.5m.
‘It’s a major step in the right direction,’ he said.
‘After months and months and months of effort that a huge number of people have put into the bid, we have to be quietly excited about where we are today and I think there’s a bit of a buzz around.
‘There’s a feeling and spirit of optimism that there hasn’t been since the Bournemouth game.’
The next step for the trust is to finalise its share prospectus, which will be issued to fans who have pledged £100 for the option to buy a full share for £1,000.
Trust spokesman Colin Farmery said its bid and issuing of the prospectus was ‘on track’.
He told The News: ‘Having been named as preferred bidder to buy the club a week ago, the bid team has been working hard behind the scenes to ensure the bid stands the best chance of success.
‘One of the key aspects is the publication of the share prospectus, which is close to completion.
‘The prospectus is all but ready and we are going through the approval process with the lawyers and our accountants since this is a very complex deal and we need to be sure we have covered all our bases. We are acutely conscious we need to do this absolutely right.’
Club administrators PKF will meet the trust next week to discuss progress and Mr Farmery said he was ‘confident’ about announcing a formal launch date afterwards.
He added: ‘We believe we have a very attractive offer for potential shareholders and we are sure there are more fans out there who are waiting to come forward and pledge once they see the offer. Since the trust was announced as preferred bidder we have seen a significant increase in people applying for shares and we expect that trend to continue.’
Meanwhile Pompey manager Michael Appleton said he was keen to meet with members of the trust.
He said: ‘I’m hoping to speak to them.
‘It’s just to get a feel for what they are about, how they are going to control things, who I need to report to and who I don’t need to report to, whether that is 100 people I need to answer to or two or three people.
‘Obviously they are the sorts of questions I will be asking.’
I’ve had a couple of conversations over the phone but you can’t beat meeting someone in person.
We haven’t gone into much depth as yet.
I will be asking them questions everyone wants to know about budgets and stuff but I want to know how it’s all going to work.
Coming out of administration would give everyone a huge lift but I can’t see it happening quickly if I’m being honest. I’m not getting too excited too soon.
At least if I have an understanding of what we can do once everything is agreed, it gives me time to start to plan once we get the green light.
Meet the ‘High Net Worths’ who have sights on Fratton
HERE’s what you need to know about the supporters’ trust’s major backers.
Stuart Robinson is a 43-year-old property developer based in Upham. He has offered to buy Fratton Park and lease it back to the trust.
· Chris Moth was born and raised in Selsey and is a life long Pompey fan. He is a founding director of an investment management company based in London. He lives with his wife and three sons in south west London.
· Ken Terry was born and grew up in Selsey, West Sussex. He has been a Pompey supporter all of his life and has two children. He founded and manages a private equity investment firm and now lives and works in central London.
· Iain McInnes is prospective chairman of Pompey. He is chairman of a group of companies specialising in electronic component manufacture. He has been a Pompey fan for more than 50 years.
· John Kirk works in investment management and lives near Guildford.
· John Partridge (not pictured) is executive chairman of a property investment management company and has spent his entire career in the investment management industry. He lives in London but was born in Portsmouth.