Trust call for support to share Blues voyage

Ashley Brown, centre. Picture: Allan Hutchings (141174-848)
Ashley Brown, centre. Picture: Allan Hutchings (141174-848)

PEOPLE power is the reason their football club exists today.

An incredible response saw Pompey Supporters’ Trust (PST) placed at the heart of the biggest community club in the United Kingdom.

Now the drive is on to ensure that remains the case for many years to come.

Trust chairman Ashley Brown last month promised the outfit will continue to play a ‘significant part’ in running the Blues.

That was in response to an expected small drop in their share percentage, as a consequence of further investment from the club’s presidents.

The Trust currently are the majority shareholders and own 52 per cent of the club, with the presidents holding 48 per cent.

But that is subject to change with the training ground relocation to Roko in Hilsea and other essential projects being funded by the group of 12 wealthy individuals, as well as Trust money.

The Trust have now launched a push to raise additional capital to keep their share up.

And spokesman, John Kimbell, has been overwhelmed by the commitment of fans.

Kimbell said: ‘The response has been amazing.

‘We’ve had around 20 or 30 people email us already saying they want to put more money in.

‘So there’s obviously interest out there.

‘We have to avoid the idea that it stops with the money raised last year.

‘We do have the presidents but they haven’t got a bottomless pit of money.

‘So we need to raise cash.

‘Unless money comes in we may not be able to hold on to that majority shareholding.

‘If that’s so precious we need to raise cash to keep that percentage up.

‘People can then say they’ve contributed to running the club.’

The Trust are now holding an open day at Fratton Park to field questions from those who can stretch further to helping their club operate.

That will take place on Saturday, May 24 from 11am-3pm and is expected to outline initiatives in the pipeline – most notably the training ground move to Roko.

Kimbell said: ‘It’s an open house and people are invited to drop in.

‘We’ll have various members of the board there to answer questions and hopefully show plans of the training ground.

‘We need and want to have a capital plan to focus the share effort on.

‘We would have liked to do it sooner but we need things like the training ground to be sorted to show where the money is going.

‘People want to see what their money is going towards. Some people are uncertain about that.

‘These are the questions I was asking as a fan.

‘So we need to clarify what it’s all about and put their minds at rest.’

Expected to be confirmed by the time the Victory Suite get-together takes place are options for fans who can’t raise £1,000 for a full share.

Kimbell said: ‘It’s a lot of money to be parting with.

‘So we want to make it as easy as possible for people to stump up however much they have got.

‘That doesn’t matter whether that’s £5 for a membership or £1,000 for a share. It’s all welcome.’