You've decided: Portsmouth fans respond to question - Has Michael Eisner delivered on his promises and pledges?

‘That’s up for you to decide’.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 4:55 am

Those are the final words The News’ Jordan Cross put to readers of his weekly column before laying out exactly what Michael Eisner said to Pompey shareholders at the Guildhall in 2017.

Key subjects formed the basis of the American’s takeover speech that night, with pledges made in regards to Fratton Park, team investment, the academy, future financial commitments and more.

Since then there’s been much debate whether Eisner and his Tornante group have actually stood by those promises after completing their takeover – despite the likes of ongoing redevelopment work at PO4 and the recent purchase of the training base at Roko suggesting they have.

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So to help gauge where fans sit in the whole Eisner/ownership debate ahead of his meeting with the Tony Goodall Fans’ Conference next week, what better way than to pinpoint the promises made from the Guildhall and let people make an informed decision for themselves.

As expected, many have been in touch via Facebook to let us know their thoughts.

So here’s what they’ve had to say, with those responses being put into three categorises – backing for the Eisners; those still opposed to the Eisners; and a room for improvement grouping.

Note: From the responses provided, support for Eisner & Co outweighs those opposed to his stewardship.

Backing for the Eisners

Bob Ricketts: He’s doing exactly what he said he would.

In the cold light of day, look at the club now and in the past.

Ground improvements that had to be done, good money spent on that. Very rare over the years, although some earlier owners did spend.

Michael Eisner addresses members of the Pompey Supporters' Trust at the Guildhall in May 2017 Picture: Neil Marshall

New Fratton End and cladding on the stands. Training ground. We own one. Not had that before.

Gradually the infrastructure is being brought into the 21st century.

The main complaint on social media is it’s taking too long! It’s all expected to happen quickly. Has to be sustainable.

Unless someone has money to throw away this it.

Could be better on the pitch but a lot of teams could say that. Frustrating in some respects but prefer this way to what we’ve had in the past. Pup

Marlon Neil: He’s sorting the ground out, we’ve got our own training ground.

Infrastructure is being put in place. It’s a long process. I’m happy with our owners.

Al Suter: He’s done what he said he would do.

He couldn’t have foreseen Covid and the effect it had on revenue and undoubtedly the end of 19/20 season.

Think that’s put us back a year/18 months.

We’re not flying on the football side and that is frustrating but I’m sure that when it clicks the momentum it builds will be powerful.

Let’s review in 3 years - we’ll be in a much better position.

Joe Parkinson: I personally don’t see what he’s done wrong.

He’s done everything he said he would, we’re solid in league one and now we should be looking to push on, he’s put money into the stadium and facilities, and it’s obviously business, football clubs are business.

People seem to forget this, he’s doing his part and we should do ours, get behind the team, and DC.

Well done on keeping us sustainable, afloat and more importantly alive.

But now is the time to push forward on the pitch and get promotion either this year or next.

Derek Boyes: Definitely the most honest and business minded owners we have had in decades, ground improvements are moving forward and the team have great potential all being done sustainably so 8 out of 10 from me.

Paul Collins: He’s going a brilliant job building the club off field to make sure it will support the team build.

Well done to him he’s all the time in the world.

Jordan Hodge: He said it'll be slow progress he wants too build the club up gradually, he's already spending decent money getting the ground sorted. swear people except miracles.

Andy Privett: Personally think he is a great owner investing in the infrastructure of the club.

This is what should have happened in the Premier League days.

I’m as frustrated as the next person we’re not buying lots of established players but would rather us build in a sustained and sensible format and we will get there in the end!!!

No more boom/bust!!!

Those still opposed to the Eisners

Anthony Knight: Mmm the happy clappers out in force for this article and the ‘we’re lucky to still have a club’ brigade.

The truth is we may be progressing off the pitch, all be it at a snail’s pace, but on the pitch we’re invariably awful (Sunderland aside), 5 years in league 1 is too long.. way too long for a club of our stature.. their 5 year plan is nearly up.. on the pitch we’ve stood still.. that cannot be denied.. 5 seasons in this league tells you that.. promotion has got to be the aim otherwise what are we all here for?

Arpit Patel: He wanted Championship in 5 years still here in league one that’s one broken promise.

Wayne Turner: Sport is about winning & competing, We are just making up the numbers in League1

The owners do not want or need promotion. They've got queues of customers lining up to fill the tills of the Park every week so why would they want the added expense of promotion?

My prediction is they'll sell another player in Jan or next summer to pay for the Milton End tart up.

Frank Hoskins: Personally the biggest disappointment is the academy promises.

This was the vehicle by which they wanted to source the players for the future without spending vast sums on players from outside.

So 4 out of 10 for me.

Justin J Farr: Some of the fanbase are wearing rose tinted glasses. They have no ambition whatsoever!

Room for improvement

Chris Barter: Technically he has kept to his word, brick by brick and all that, but I think the playing budget continues to disappoint, possibly not as ambitious for on field progress as fans would of hoped.

Sam Remi Ingram: Personally, I'm happy with a lot, but disappointed with the academy promise and duration on time in league 1.

So much of the plan revolved around growing your own to avoid overspending.

We are currently further behind with youth than when the Eisners took over at the moment.

We've lost a few of the homegrown lads from the team too.

I think most of us would agree that patience is important in football, how much was patience with Kenny and how much was avoidance of contract pay offs is another question?

They were definitely too reluctant to pull the trigger with Kenny...after this amount of time, I'd also be hoping to regularly enjoy the football, the spectacle under Kenny was grim.

Let's hope Sunderland is the Cowleys’ watershed moment.

Gareth White: He's stabilised the club but there has been a lack of investment in the team that's why we have signed a bunch of kids who are not good enough.