HALL RIGHT NOW: Interested in buying a football club? Here's your chance...
By Micah Hall
Monday 23 Apr 2012 20:43:00
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There are always people 'interested' in buying a football club. Just at Pompey we have seen a long run of people who were 'interested' in buying Pompey in the last three years. Some even have. How much good it has done us is a very moot point.

The fact remains that, (as our neighbours found out when the guy living in his Mum's bedroom bid collapsed), most of the people interested in buying football clubs are far from being Sheikh Mansour. The simple fact is this; Pompey have ONE DEFINITELY INTERESTED party who wish to take the club on. It isn't the Pompey Supporters Trust. It is us. The fans. The Trust is just the vehicle for US to try and save OUR club.

I've seen some seriously misguided people saying that the Trust are not the only interested party. Yes they are. There are others who have expressed an interest in receiving more information – but as discussed above, there are always loads of people like that. I've personally spoken to a whole bunch of suitors, attended meetings, drafted proposals, answered questions, even talked to architects about stadium plans. However, as Ken Bates said, he gets one of these characters a month. The fans are seriously trying to buy Pompey to save it. No-one else is seriously doing so as we speak, they are 'chatting' to Trevor and he is trying to persuade them to bid.

If a well-heeled buyer turns up then would the fans interest be a problem? Of course not. If such a person turns up they will simply and quickly buy the club from Trevor Birch. It's the easiest club to buy in football, all you have to do is ask Trevor for the paperwork and tell him how much you are willing to pay. The fact no-one has got close to that stage yet speaks volumes.

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Some people have questioned whether a fan-owned Pompey can be sustainable. Well, yes. Birch has to arrange the exit of high earners to make it a sustainable business for ANY purchaser. No-one wants to buy Pompey to pay big wages to people who don't want to be here. The choice for those players is to take their money from parachute payments in a year or so or watch the club get liquidated and lose all their money. If they take the deal, they get their money and can move to another club. If they don't, they are out of work as of June 1.

The trick from then is to simply not spend more than you have. Radical proposition but it should be tried. Every single penny an owner 'invests' becomes a debt up the road. Of Pompeys current debt, more than 90% is owed to former owners.

In short, there is no quick way of making money out of Pompey. This is the single biggest reason I can't see Portpin coming back to Pompey. There is simply no way to get their money back. If they think there is, we are in for another couple of grim years while they discover they are wrong. How is anyone going to get £18.5m out of Pompey? People forget that Pompey is now almost entirely reliant on income from fans. Leaving aside opinions on Portpin, anyone trying to wring money out of Pompey is hardly going to be serving up an entertaining and progressive football team. Who is going to buy a season ticket for a Portpin-run Pompey?

Everyone should now be under no illusions; the prospects of making significant money out of Pompey in the next five-ten yearsare slim and rely on a complete overhaul of the squad, the purchase of the adjacent land, building of a new stadium and a radical overhaul of the club's entire infrastructure. Moving the club forward as a business will take endless grit, commitment, passion and a never-say-die attitude. The people who best fit that description are the fans.

Towards the end of May Pompey have to start convincing the league they can fulfil their fixtures next season. If we can't provide any assurance that we will be here in May 2013 we won't be playing in August 2012. Any new owner has maybe three weeks to get this done.

Until the great white knight rides into town to save us, there is ONE WAY to try and save your club. For three years we've been pinning our hopes on candidate after candidate. In football terms it is ten to midnight. By all means cross your fingers, but in the meantime, back the Trust bid. You can't help anyone 'chat' to Trevor Birch, but you can make sure there is at least one chance to keep Pompey alive.

BACK THE BID! Click here.

Any proceeds from Hall Right Now are donated to ActionAid. You can make a donation here

The views of Mike Hall are his own and don't necessarily reflect the editorial view of pompey-fans.com

 
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