Trust target remaining pledgers in Pompey shareholding push

Pompey fans. Picture: Sarah Standing
Pompey fans. Picture: Sarah Standing

The e-mails have already been sent – next come the phone calls as the Pompey Supporters’ Trust seek to increase their shareholding.

As it stands, there are 275 fans whose original Trust contributions are still outstanding – people who pledged to invest in the club by each putting in £100 as part of the process.

Yet, unlike the 2,300 different shareholder names who settled the full £1,000 amount – some have put in more – these are ones not to have followed through.

The 275 pledges consist of Pompey fans, former Blues players and, no doubt, the occasional supporter from rival clubs attempting to muddy the waters.

Regardless of their reasons, there is potentially more than £250,000 which could be used to bolster Pompey’s finances and increase the Trust’s 52.7 per cent majority shareholding.

On the flip side, should they so wish, people can be refunded their initial £100 stake.

Nonetheless, Trust board member Tom Dearie is one of those attempting to resolve the issue and boost the Trust’s holding.

As one of the driving forces behind the Pompey 12th Man initiative, he has already helped buy 20 shares in the Trust.

That includes three from the 2013 Fans’ Day – an event which also saw £9,000 go to charities – and one share via a fantasy football league currently under way.

Now he is targeting those pledges currently outstanding in the hope of increasing the conversation rate.

Although, Dearie is well aware circumstances change and some may no longer be able afford to fulfil it – which is certainly nothing to be criticised for.

‘Yesterday morning we sent an e-mail out to those who have pledged and not converted, we are chasing them up,’ said Dearie.

‘It’s about explaining how we have had their money for a while and are they currently in a position to convert?

‘We are well aware some peoples’ circumstances change, that happens in life and there is nothing wrong in that.

‘I know people no longer in a job and still have a family to support, others may have moved away from the area or even fallen out of love with the club.

‘Everyone has their own personal reasons and we are just reminding them, nothing more.

‘It’s a hard one to set a conversion target as we don’t know the precise reasons why people haven’t done so. But I would like to think we can get around half of them, which is 130-odd.

‘There are former players in there as well, perhaps their memories need to be jogged.

‘We will be ringing those up as well.’

Lawyers Verisona, who represent the club and Trust, are still reporting a steady influx of shares being taken up by fans.

There is an April 19 deadline to buy shares at the existing price, before the scheme transfers for the Trust board to administrate. They will decide what value shares should take in the future.

Currently, supporters can still purchase from

Dearie added: ‘We are planning an open day when people can ask questions, while the Trust bus is open on match days.

‘There is also going to be a Trust-led campaign specifically targeting businesses.

‘Shares are still coming in. It is still growing and, hopefully, it can stay that way.’