On the 3rd August 2017, it was announced that Portsmouth had been bought by former Disney CEO Michael Eisner for £10 million.
The takeover all but saved Pompey from obscurity following years of financial problems and relegation from the Premier League down to League Two just a few years after the club won their first FA Cup since 1939.
Here’s a small selection of fan reactions from that very important day…
New manager, new owner and a new season. Future is bright! #pup
— Danny Gillard (@DannyGillard1) August 3, 2017
Thanks to everyone involved in the Trust era, wish the new owners every success, perhaps the best signing they ever make is Mark Catlin
— Andy Ford (@AndyFord33107) August 3, 2017
— °o°Luce Pycroft (@Luce_Pycroft25) August 3, 2017
All the best Michael hope you can take us back to the place we belong #playuppompey
— wes knight (@knight37) August 4, 2017
Time to get back in the Prem
— Alex Y. Williams (@Dexterror) August 3, 2017
The Future is Blue! Welcome to Pompey Mr Eisner
— Kev (@Kevan_Rickard) August 3, 2017
Excellent!! Onward and upward!
— Patrick Beames (@pajb49) August 3, 2017
Two administrations, shady owners, and multiple managerial changes had come to a head when Eisner took over the club from the Pompey Supporters Trust, signalling the end of Portsmouth’s financial problems and steadying the ship of the historic club that had endured nearly 10 years worth of mismanagement and money problems.
Expensive transfers, high wages, and the credit crunch also have a part to play in how Portsmouth ended up in such a mess in their final years in the Premier League. The signings of Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Benjani set the club back millions, and in 2010 it was reported the club was £135 million in debt the season they were relegated to the Championship.
Although the debt was eventually paid off following a takeover from the Pompey Supporters Trust in 2014, the club had solely relied on fan contributions from then till the time of Eisner’s takeover in 2017.
Since the takeover, Portsmouth’s fortunes have changed massively both on and off the pitch. Eisner took over the club the season Pompey were promoted to League One, escaping the clutches of League Two after four years in the lowest tier of the Football League.
Pompey now find themselves as one of the favourites to win promotion to the Championship after just two seasons in League One, and Kenny Jackett has led the club to their first trip to Wembley Stadium since the 2010 FA Cup final in the form of the EFL Trophy final against league rivals Sunderland, another team who are on the road to recovery after years of financial and owner problems.
Eisner’s takeover has been seen by the fans as the turning point for the club’s fortunes as Pompey now look to return to the Championship, and eventually the Premier League under the former Disney CEO.
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