PETERSFIELD Bookshop partner and famous Portsmouth Football Club fan John Westwood is delighted that the proposed takeover by American billionaire Michael Eisner has been given the go-ahead.
Pompey Supporters’ Trust (PST) shareholders and the club’s presidents have today approved the sale to the Tornante investment group.
The takeover needed the backing of 75 per cent of the club’s shareholders to get the green light, with 81.4 per cent of shareholders backing the deal.
PST shareholders voted 80.3 per cent in favour of the PST selling it’s 48.5 per cent share of the club, and 75 per cent of the club’s president’s voted in favour of the deal, which took the total backing up to 81.4 per cent of shareholders.
And John Westwood believes the proposed takeover is good news for the club.
“This is fantastic and is the best thing that could have happened to Pompey,” said Westwood.
“The trust are going out on a high and they’ll be immortalised in Pompey history.
“We can now move forward and I’m really excited.”
Petersfield Town chairman Graeme Moir also welcomed the news and believes the new owners of Pompey will be good for football in general in the area.
He said: “I think this is great news for both Portsmouth Football Club specifically and football in south east Hampshire in general.
“Nobody wants to see Pompey go down the road they did previously which brought them so much financial trouble and problems – despite the FA Cup victory and playing in the Premier League and European football.
“Michael Eisner sounds like the kind of owner the club really needs at this point – somebody with a proven track record in business and someone who will bring steady investment into the club to help gradually lift them up through the leagues.
“He has not made any rash promises to supporters. He may live in North America but he seems to have a deep understanding of what the club is about and what is needed to take it forward.
“I think it could also be good news for non-league clubs in the area like Petersfield. We could all benefit from the strong links we have with Portsmouth and if more investment is going into the club, some of that may trickle down into the city’s and surrounding areas football clubs via some of the links we have with the club.
“I don’t speak for all clubs in the area but I would like to see Pompey doing well as I think it will lift football in the south east Hampshire area and we can all benefit from a prosperous and successful Portsmouth Football Club.”
In a statement, PST chairman Ashley Brown said: “This is true fan ownership and democracy at work. Our fans decided who the next owner of our club would be – and it will be Michael Eisner and Tornante.
“The trust board would like to wish Michael the very best of luck. We believe he understands the importance of the custodianship of Pompey and will be an owner all fans will be proud of.
“We look forward to working with him, his family and Tornante for many years to come.”