Pompey's new owner already witnessed that Disney magic

IT WAS the script Michael Eisner believes even Disney would have branded unrealistic.

Friday, 4th August 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:38 am
Andy Redman, Eric Eisner, Michael Eisener, and Mark Catlin. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Nonetheless, Pompey’s new owner is striving for the creation of many more memorable Fratton Park moments.

Tornante yesterday completed a £5.67m purchase to become Blues owners following almost 10 weeks of due diligence.

Timing their entrance to perfection, the deal was completed 48 hours before the scheduled League One kick off against Rochdale.

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Eisner was present for Pompey’s last league match back in May, along with son Eric and Tornante president Andy Redman.

The duo witnessed a special Fratton occasion which entered club folklore as Paul Cook’s side triumphed 6-1 over Cheltenham to claim the League Two trophy.

Heading into the match, the Blues were third in the table, with Doncaster and Plymouth above.

The outcome was pure Disney as the Fratton faithful spilled onto the famous turf to celebrate an unexpected title triumph at the death.

Enough to enchant the former chairman and chief executive of Disney from 1984-2005.

Speaking to The News yesterday after the deal was finalised, Eisner said: ‘That was amazing.

‘If you were a seller with a buyer sitting there and you were trying to convince them of this excitement, well that game had it all.

‘There was security trying to prevent 17,000 people from storming the field, Pompey won 6-1 and you didn’t know until a minute after the game had ended whether they had won the title.

‘If you wrote that in a movie script, you would say it couldn’t happen!

‘At Disney, we made 15-20 sports movies with great endings and wins.

‘I don’t know whether that would have gone through the script phase.

‘If it was my film, after we had won I’d have had everybody run onto the field and then realise the Plymouth game had a minute to go.

‘Then you make everybody in the audience quiet by ending the euphoria, creating a funeral atmosphere.

‘Then a minute later you find out they have the title so it’s a typical Disney ending!

‘It wasn’t only the game but the atmosphere. We knew we had promotion and that was the cherry at the top of the cake. What a moment in time, it was great – we were there.’

Eisner’s arrival has prompted the creation of a new six-man club board.

Only Mark Catlin remains from the previous board make-up, with Eisner awarding the chief executive a new long-term deal.

Eisner added: ‘No matter what anybody thinks, it really is about managers.

‘You can take something that is great and destroy it and take something not yet great and build it – and that’s what Mark Catlin has done for four years.’