London (AFP) – The Pompey Supporters’ Trust (PST) has voted in favour of allowing former Walt Disney chief executive Michael Eisner to buy Portsmouth, the English fourth-tier club announced on Monday.
The trust, which took control of Portsmouth in 2013, holds a 48.5 percent stake in the club and has three members on the board of directors.
Its 2,272 members voted 80.3 percent in favour of the PST selling its stake to Eisner’s Tornante Group, which has bid £5.67 million ($7.4 million, 6.6 million euros) to take control of the club.
“This is true fan ownership and democracy at work,” PST chairman Ashley Brown said in a statement.
“Our fans decided who the next owner of our club would be and it will be Michael Eisner and Tornante.
“The Trust board would like to wish Michael the very best of luck. We believe he understands the importance of the custodianship of Pompey and will be an owner all fans will be proud of.
“We look forward to working with him, his family and Tornante for many years to come.”
Seventy-five percent of the club’s individual shareholders, known as presidents, have also voted to sell their respective stakes.
It means 81.4 percent of the club’s equity holding is in agreement with the sale.
“The club will now proceed to negotiate the final terms of the sale with the Tornante Group over the coming weeks,” Portsmouth said.
Eisner tweeted: “Thank you @PompeyTrust and presidents for your support and to all the amazing #Pompey fans for welcoming my family so warmly.”
Portsmouth won League Two this season and will play in the third-tier League One next season.
They won the FA Cup in 2008 and were in the Premier League as recently as 2010, only for financial problems to see them tumble down the English league system.
They have nonetheless retained their local popularity, averaging crowds of over 16,000 this season.
California-based Eisner plans to buy 100 percent of the south-coast club and has pledged to invest an extra £10 million in equity if the takeover deal goes through.
The 75-year-old took charge of the failing Disney group in 1984 and transformed it into a powerful multinational media and leisure company before stepping aside in 2005.
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