Portsmouth FC: Michael Eisner completes takeover of League One club

Michael Eisner addresses a meeting of Portsmouth FC shareholders at Portsmouth Guildhall
Michael Eisner presented his offer to buy Portsmouth to club shareholders in May

Former Walt Disney chief executive Michael Eisner has completed his takeover of League One Portsmouth.

Eisner, 75, and his Tornante investment group offered £5.67m to buy 100% of the club and will invest an extra £10m.

"My family and I are thrilled to take on this incredible responsibility as stewards of a football club with such a rich heritage," Eisner said.

The Pompey Supporters Trust previously owned 48.5% of the club's shares with the rest shared among 16 'presidents'.

Eisner, whose net worth is estimated at $1 billion,external-link and his three sons, Breck, Eric and Anders, will make up the club's board along with Andy Redman, president of Tornante, and Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin.

Catlin will continue as CEO on a new long-term contract having held the post for the past four years.

"We bought Portsmouth because we recognised that the fans are fantastic and we recognised that Portsmouth and Fratton Park are unique," Eisner told BBC South Today.

"We also recognised that when we came here and met the people involved in this club, that we walked into a perfect situation."

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Saved from the brink of liquidation

Eisner, whose offer was approved by the PST and the majority of shareholders in May, takes control of a club who were on the verge of liquidation when placed in administration in 2013.

The PST's stake helped the club recover from their financial struggles, but Eisner will remove their four representatives from the nine-member board.

He has also pledged to form a heritage board which would protect the club's name, colours, badge and guard, while preventing relocation to a ground more than 15 miles from Portsmouth city centre.

"The supporters fought hard to save Pompey, they've given the club incredible support under fan ownership, ensuring its successful promotion from League Two as champions," PST chairman Ashley Brown said.

"Our passionate supporters now willingly pass the custodianship of Pompey to Michael Eisner.

"The four PST board members who have represented the Trust on the PFC board feel incredibly honoured and proud to have held that position at a club they love.

"The many other fans who were involved in ensuring Pompey's survival should feel equally proud of the part they played."

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