Portsmouth: Michael Eisner talks publicly of takeover plans for club

Michael Eisner
Michael Eisner and his investment group are negotiating a takeover of Portsmouth

The American billionaire who wants to buy Portsmouth would remove fan representation from its board.

Former Walt Disney chief executive Michael Eisner is in exclusive negotiations over a potential takeover.

Speaking publicly about the bid for the first time, Eisner, 75, stressed his desire to protect the club's name and colours, and keep them at Fratton Park.

"I really would like everyone behind us," he told the Portsmouth News.external-link "I don't want a contentious acquisition."

Since exiting administration in 2013, the Pompey Supporters' Trust (PST) has owned 48% of Portsmouth's shares.

Eisner and his Tornante Investment Group are currently in a 70-day negotiation and due diligence period with the club.

His revamped club board would no longer include three PST members, but would instead be a heritage board.

'Moving the club forward'

It would possess a veto on any attempts at changing the club's name, colours or moving further than 15 miles from Portsmouth city centre.

"I'm sure there are people out there who don't want this to happen, but I hope they are few and far between," Eisner said.

"The way Portsmouth and the Trust brought this team out of receivership and how they have managed it in the last four years and stuck with it is extremely impressive.

Fratton Park entrance
Portsmouth are looking to secure automatic promotion from League Two this season

"My investment is in moving the club forward. That is a large investment and I am prepared to do that."

The PST said it would be "inappropriate at this stage" to respond publicly to Eisner's proposals, which he is due to present to the board and shareholders before the end of the season.

Eisner, who is also a former president of Paramount Pictures, left Disney in 2005.

His business portfolio through Tornante includes investment, acquisition and operations of media and entertainment companies.

On the pitch, Paul Cook's side are on the verge of automatic promotion from League Two and need just eight more points from their remaining five games to secure a top-three finish.

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