Regular readers of my blog (all four of you) will have noticed that one high profile club going through the process of becoming a fan owned club has remained off topic. This isn’t for any I-hate-this-club-because-of-x reasons nor is it because I haven’t followed their plight fairly closely. No it is because I didn’t have the foggiest idea what on earth was going on half the time with their various legal battles and I didn’t want to get myself into any trouble over it (as someone who actually knows something has). Thankfully, today, the deal has finally gone through and the newest club to enter into the family of fan ownership is Portsmouth FC.
Today’s news will mark a new chapter in the events which have slowly been unfolding before the national media’s eyes since the 2009-10 season when the club first went into administration. Since then the club has been in free fall with fans attempting to rally around to ensure the future survival of the club. On the clubs plummet it has set some unwelcome records such as being the first Premier League club to enter administration and having the longest time in administration of any football club.
The final episode in the plight of Pompey has seen former owner Balram Chainrai and the Pompey Supporters Trust (PST) going to court over the valuation of Fratton Park. Chainrai valued Fratton Park at £9million (as he was using the stadium as security on the £12million he allegedly invested into Pompey) with the PST valuing it at £3million. The deal was settled out of court earlier today with the PST paying their valuation of £3million with some added clauses attached which could see the price rise to £4million according to The Telegraph.
The takeover means that Pompey becomes the biggest fan owned club in the country overnight and the hard work of running a club will now begin – at least they are used to hard work! The new owners will now have a number of massive decisions to make early on to ensure the future of their club. Some of these will be difficult and some will be controversial but the difference will be that the fans will be able to determine their own future and make sure the club remains within their means.
Best of luck Pompey.