Michael Eisner: Portsmouth owner would ‘drop’ offers to buy club

Former Walt Disney chief executive Michael Eisner bought Portsmouth in 2017

Portsmouth owner Michael Eisner has said his family intends to run the club for many years to come.

The 80-year-old former Walt Disney chief executive bought Pompey in 2017 and laid out a long-term plan to pull the club out of the football league.

“We won’t be salespeople in my lifetime,” Eisner said in a rare interview with BBC Radio Solent Portsmouth commentator Andy Moon.

“I have three sons who also don’t intend to be salespeople.

“No one has made an offer for the club since I became owner and there really is no offer I would accept.

“Emails regarding sales or proposals will be deleted.”

The Pompey Supporters Trust owned 48.5% of the club’s shares, with the rest shared among 16 “chairmen” when Eisner arrived.

When the US billionaire and his investment firm Tornante offered £5.67m to buy 100% of the club, with a promise to invest a further £10m, the Trust voted in favor of the sale in 2017 .

Eisner and his three sons, Breck, Eric and Anders, then set about straightening the club.

“I think we’ve invested four times what we committed to when we made the deal five or six years ago,” Eisner said.

“We are investing capital in the future. I look around Fratton Park and everything is in the right color for sure and the pitch is beautiful – we are heading in the right direction.

“We’re going to invest as needed, not invest like crazy. We haven’t borrowed a penny to invest and we don’t plan to. We don’t want to have a bad season and for this season to end in financial disaster. .”

Portsmouth owner Michael Eisner has said his family intends to run the club for years to come in a rare interview.
Michael Eisner says he is committed to building Portsmouth in a sustainable way that doesn’t break the bank or see the club switch between leagues

“I like the idea of ​​competing with Southampton”

Portsmouth, who have spent the summer rebuilding their squad, have lost just twice so far this season and are currently sixth in League One with two games less of the top four sides.

But they have failed to qualify for the Ligue 1 play-offs for the past two seasons – the last time they qualified was in the 2019-20 season under former manager Kenny Jackett, who was sacked the following year.

“I’m very happy with the training and the management,” Eisner said.

“As a fan, it’s frustrating that the club is still in Ligue 1. As owners, we said when we acquired the team that we were going to go at the right pace.

“We weren’t going to throw books against the wall, we were going to do it in a sustained way so that we don’t become a yo-yo club in the future.

“Promotion will happen naturally and [we] won’t be relegated when we get there.”

“I like the idea of ​​possibly competing with Southampton and I’m looking forward to getting on the pitch with them and it will happen – we’ll go up before they go down hopefully.”

Portsmouth host Shrewsbury Town in mid-table at Fratton Park today knowing a win could put them in the top four of the table.

“In five or 10 years the club will still be our property and I hope we won’t be in Ligue 1.

“In 10 years, I don’t know, maybe we will be in the Premier League? Who knows, hopefully.”

Eisner has invested heavily in the development of Portsmouth

Analysis – BBC Radio Solent Portsmouth commentator Andrew Moon

“It was evident from our 20 minute chat that Michael and the whole Eisner family are very attached to Portsmouth and have developed a real fondness for the club during their five years in charge.

“While day-to-day management of Pompey is left to general manager Andy Cullen, the Eisners are in very regular contact with Cullen and head coach Danny Cowley, and are directly involved in key decisions.

“Michael Eisner is a huge fan of Fratton Park, there were people at the club in years past who thought moving to a new stadium might have been an easier option given the investment required (over £11m sterling) just to bring the capacity up to twenty thousand.

“The Pompey Supporters Trust voted to sell the club to Eisner in 2017 and the former Disney boss said he felt he had delivered 100 per cent on the vision he presented to them at Portsmouth Guildhall.

“He was clearly successful on many points covered that night, but a solid academy has yet to materialize with the tier three youth roster unable to provide a significant number of players for the first team. Eisner says that he believes the academy is now moving in the right direction.”

You can listen to Michael Eisner’s full interview with BBC Radio Solent Portsmouth commentator Andrew Moon on BBC Sounds here.


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