Talking Sport: £121m to invest in football? What should I do?

Michael Eisner wants to get involved at Pompey - would you invest in a club if had millions?
Michael Eisner wants to get involved at Pompey - would you invest in a club if had millions?

Right, in these times of fake news, we should make one thing clear - columnist Dean Adams does NOT have £121m to invest in a football club. He is just dreaming he does. What would you do with it? What would he do with it? Let’s hear...

Euro not going to believe this - I’ve only gone and won £121m on the Euro Millions lottery. I’m on a beach in Dubai, pad and pen in hand working out my plans for the future, writes Dean Adams.

Should I put the odd £21m in and see how we go? It could be a fun five years as a project but I might need to win the lottery again in the future to sustain it.

Dean Adams

I love football, I love many sports. But the burning question is: Do I invest in football? Would you want a lottery millionaire or a successful business person taking over your club?

After I did win the lottery, the alarm clock also went off a few hours later returning me to reality having not matched the biggest Euro Millions winner of recent times. But what if you did win £121m? What would you do?

There is a big debate going on along the coast at Portsmouth at the moment which has seen the club enter a 70-day exclusivity agreement with the American businessman Michael Eisner and his Tornante Group.

Talks with the billionaire former Walt Disney chairman were confirmed by Pompey but there is uncertainty and disagreement among supporters as to whether the club would welcome a takeover after a four-year period of being stable and profitable as a club partly run by fans.

The supporters have played an amazing part in securing and running the club’s future with the current board investors, but how far can they honestly take the club? Surely investment and a takeover is the future for Portsmouth?

What if a Pompey supporter had millions in the bank to take over the club? Would this be a better option than the current fan-led model?

As a West Sussex resident and a Pompey fan, I’m all for a takeover. The supporters have been amazing in keeping the club stable but I don’t see this as a long-term option.

The current stadium is getting old and is probably requiring £20m of investment in two of the stands – how would the supporters fund this or an increased wage bill after a promotion or two?

I can’t see how supporters can honestly be against a takeover. Are they just scared – or scarred – by previous failings of takeovers?

I respect all the views and I have read what information is available but I’d be happy with Eisner making PFC a stable Championship club with major ground improvements making for a great matchday experience.

Personally, although I love the club, I’d not invest a huge sum into professional football if I had the capital. I’ve certainly fallen out of love with the Premier League.

I used to love Southend away on a Tuesday night with a beer or two with friends when I was younger. That’s the football I love. I love the four floodlights and seeing that old stadium as we approach the ground with a pie and a pint, although that’s made for any great investment in my physique.

So, millions in the bank – where’s your money going? Football? You’re not going into this to make money and certainly it’s going to be an expensive hobby.

Bognor Regis Town are my local non-league club with a great set-up. Do I try to take them into the Football League? Would they get the attendance figures to support this in their catchment area? Do they go full-time and push on? Do you keep the non-league’s Eddie Howe – aka Jamie Howell – as manager?

Do I go to a county league club and have a push and a play? But then again, it’s one man and his dog through the turnstiles and I couldn’t ever see that level of club having attendance figures to sustain even Ryman League or Southern League football.

So, what about my beloved Pompey? £121m. Should I put the odd £21m in and see how we go? It could be a fun five years as a project but I might need to win the lottery again in the future to sustain it.

Or do you go neutral and stay away from your love of your local club and Pompey in case it goes wrong and position yourself at say a neutral club?

Decisions, decisions. But...

I’d go with a £5m investment into Bognor with a five-year plan of winning the National League premier and getting into the Football League. Jamie Howell stays as boss. He’s got five years, stability and a contract which stays in place - even through the bad times. Managers need time to build.
I’d build an academy. Youth is key. I think a chief scout and an academy scout are important. I’d not tell Jamie who to sign, there’d be no interference – just support.

Anyway, I’m off to buy my winning ticket… just as Bognor and Pompey head for hopeful promotion and put their value up.

What would you do with £121m? Put it into your football club, or something far more worthwhile? Tweet @deanoadams or email sport@chiobserver.co.uk

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