The financial problems of Portsmouth FC are well known to every football supporter worldwide, but the supporters through the vehicle of the Supporters Trust are continuing their fight to rewrite the next chapter in their Clubs history, so that it becomes well known for all the right reasons.
The story so far reflects a quite simply monumental effort from a monumental number of people, offering their skills, time and money to not just save but rebuild the Club for its supporters and community.
One large piece of the jigsaw that has come together is the capital finance that the supporters have been able to raise to show that they are not just well intentioned but serious in their vision. At the centre of it is an increasingly popular finance raising method called Community Shares. Community Shares are ideally suited to sports clubs as with a community of people interested in its success – it’s a way to raise serious finance in a way that primarily focuses on collective benefit for that community rather than an individual’s private gain.
With the amount of uncertainty the supporters have had to deal with right through the process of taking over the Club, we had to build in an extra stage – a pre-share offer which saw more than 2,000 people deposit £100 to show their appetite for supporting a full offer when they had a clear run at ownership.
With the support of our legal partners DWF, working with PST and their partners we were able to produce an offer document that has to date seen close to £2 million transferred into a holding account ready to go when the supporters take control of the Club.
Supporters Direct were pleased to be able to co-ordinate the Community Share Offer – advising the Board, drafting the offer document and supporting guidance, and providing technical support to answer the questions that resulted.
In the opening game of Pompey's 2013 SkyBet League 2 campaign, a proud message ‘OURS’ was spelt out by fans in the Fratton End holding up coloured cards before the match against Oxford United, symbolizing that that club was indeed now owned by its fans.
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