SBD Global/April 21, 2017/Franchises

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  • American Michael Eisner To Present Takeover Bid To Portsmouth Shareholders

    American billionaire Michael Eisner is to make a "personal pitch" to League Two side Portsmouth shareholders "ahead of their vote on his proposed takeover," according to BBC. The Portsmouth Supporters' Trust confirmed the former Disney CEO will attend a meeting at Portsmouth City Guildhall on May 4. He will "present his vision for the club at the meeting and answer questions from the audience." Before the meeting, which will be for PST shareholders only, "members will be sent a voting pack containing details of the terms" submitted by Eisner's Tornante investment group and his family. A two-week ballot will then open on May 6 and close on May 19 (BBC, 4/20). The BBC reported shareholders and members of the PST are "in favour of retaining representation on the club's board in the event of a takeover." The PST surveyed its members over a potential ownership change with 94% "agreeing to the importance of retaining at least one board member at the club." In a recent interview, Eisner said that he would "remove fan representation from the board if his takeover bid was successful." The PST, which currently owns 48% of the club's shares, "has three members out of nine on the board." The PST said, "Given we represent the largest share in the club, we would hope to see our members' views on supporter ownership and involvement, and protection of the club's heritage, reflected in any bid" (BBC, 4/19).

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  • League Two Side Leyton Orient Fans Plan Protest Ahead Of Final Home Game

    League Two side Leyton Orient fans "plan to stage another protest ahead of their final home game of the season" on April 29, according to Lia Hervey of SKY SPORTS. The game, against Colchester United, is likely to be the team's last at the Matchroom Stadium before its relegation from the Football League -- it is "currently seven points adrift of safety with just three games left." Relegation will "mark the end of an unbroken 112-year spell in the Football League and fans will again demonstrate their opposition" to club Owner Francesco Becchetti. The rally will be attended by Leyton MP John Cryer, who is "attempting to secure a Parliamentary debate" about what he sees as a lack of effective rules governing the ownership of football clubs (SKY SPORTS, 4/20).

    OUTSTANDING WAGES: In London, Alex Young reported Leyton Orient issued a statement demanding communication from Becchetti and its directors over the club's "continuing financial troubles." The club's staff "were due to be paid their outstanding wages on April 6 and have not only yet to receive them but also are without a new payment date." The statement "asks for more clarity over the situation as personal debts grow," with the Professional Footballers' Association "helping pay a portion of the players' wage bill last week" (EVENING STANDARD, 4/19). Also in London, Giuseppe Muro reported Leyton Orient was on Thursday morning "not confirming when staff will be paid, after club employees asked for assurances." Club COO Vito Miceli did not respond to a request for comment (EVENING STANDARD, 4/20).

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