Football finance expert gives latest verdict on what Portsmouth can achieve under billionaire owner Michael Eisner
Chairman Michael Eisner has the financial capacity ‘to invest as much as he wants’ in Pompey and take them back to the top.
That’s an opinion shared by football finance expert Kieran Maguire – but one that will not take Blues fans by surprise.
Yet The Price of Football author believes it’s a verdict which has gained extra significance after news emerged last week that one of the Pompey owner’s businesses is set to go public, valued at a massive $1.3bn.
Topps, bought by Eisner for $385m in 2007, will merge with Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation II – an acquisition vehicle who have placed the huge valuation on the company renowned for its sports trading cards.
The former Disney CEO, who will remain as chairman of Topps, bought Pompey for £5.67m in 2017.
Since then money has been invested in both the squad and Fratton Park, although the Blues do remain in League One.
That could change in the coming weeks, however, with Danny Cowley's side sixth in the table and on course for a third consecutive shot at the play-offs.
If it does materialise, then it will come during a unprecedented year in football, with Pompey themselves losing around £700,000 per month due to the impact of coronavirus.
Last month chief executive Mark Catlin rubbished reports that Eisner and his Tornante company, which owns the PO4 outfit, wanted to sell the club – reports that the American billionaire also dismissed.
Now fans are being told the 79-year-old has the extra financial muscle to make a significant mark at Fratton Park following his latest business deal.
But speaking to the Football Insider website, Maguire maintains it all depends on where Eisner’s priorities lie.
He said: ‘He (Eisner) is fantastically wealthy because he’s extremely smart, even before this amazing success.
‘It’s up to him what he chooses to do with the money. But clearly, he has the capacity to invest as much as he wants in Portsmouth.
‘The only constraint is financial fair play and where Portsmouth lies in terms of his personal priorities.
‘In terms of taking them back to the top, can he do it? Yes, he can.
‘They’ve got a fantastic fanbase. Portsmouth fans have had it hard over the years so it’s good to see something like this, which is promising for them, I think.’
Despite Pompey losing £700,000 a month since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, player sales enabled them to record a £259,950 profit on the latest accounts for the year ending June 2020.
A drop of £294,728 in turnover was recorded on the previous year – yet £2.23m was injected into Fratton Park’s coffers through profit on transfer fees received.
The latest accounts also revealed that £2m was withdrawn from the owners’ investment fund to assist with the management of the business.
Tornante deposited £10m as part of their August 2017 purchase of Pompey from fan ownership.
A total of £4m remained on June 30, 2020.