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SBD Global/November 20, 2012/International Football

Supporters Direct Praises Takeover Of League One Football Club Portsmouth

The Supporters Direct group "has hailed Portsmouth's fan-backed takeover as 'a landmark' moment that will set a precedent for more clubs to be run by supporters in the future," according to James Riach of the London GUARDIAN. The League One club is expecting its "ownership saga to be finalised by Christmas after the Portsmouth Supporters' Trust last week signed an agreement with administrators PKF, although the deal hinges on winning clearance to purchase Fratton Park." Supporters Direct, which was established 12 years ago, "has helped a number of clubs through the difficult transition into fan ownership, but believes Portsmouth will be a shining light for others due to their size and stature." A spokesperson said, "It is potentially a landmark for a club of this size to turn to this model and collectively look at the business advantage of not propping up revenue losses each year. Supporters, more than any other group -- more than the owners, managers and players that come and go -- make lifelong commitments to their clubs and invest in them on a long term basis. Their interests and motivation are simply different." The PST distributed its share prospectus on Monday, which encourages supporters to invest in the "most exciting 'fan ownership' project in the U.K." The trust "has already received significant funds from a number of wealthy supporters," named as presidents, who have invested directly into Portsmouth Community Football Club Ltd. -- the Public Limited Company that "will hold membership with the FA and the Football League" (GUARDIAN, 11/19).
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