Hampshire: FPN supports deal to rescue Portsmouth FC

Hampshire-based corporate finance specialists FPN are celebrating their role in helping the Pompey Supporters Trust win control of Portsmouth Football Club in a groundbreaking deal. 

FPN founders Rosemary Penn-Newman and Antony Fanshawe have been advising the Trust since last summer, helping steer its bid to create UK football history.

The pair assisted with fundraising, structuring the deal, negotiating with the administrators and financial planning.

The deal they have helped negotiate has created the largest supporter-owned club in the UK, following a model pioneered in Europe by many clubs including Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

The route to the landmark deal was a complex one which unusually involved establishing the credibility of the Trust as a potential purchaser as well as the raising of funds via a share scheme that won widespread local support.

Fanshawe said: “It has been a long, hard road to get here. I take my hat off to the supporters and in particular Ashley Brown, Mick Williams and Mark Trapani, who never lost hope and without whose hard work and dedication this deal could not have happened. It is very exciting to have been involved from the early stages.

“This is what we are all about; helping to rescue businesses and generate employment and, in this case, maintaining an important component of the community. I would love to see Portsmouth as a model for other clubs. The supporters’ time has come.”

Trapani, director of Portsmouth, said: “Rosemary and Antony have helped us enormously throughout the process, bringing a very grounded commercial approach and their enormous experience to what has been a long and difficult road for the Trust. We are delighted that with their help we have reached the end of that road and emerged with a simply brilliant result. I hope that they will help us going forward.”

FPN, based at Ocean Village in Southampton and offering a mix of corporate finance and strategic advice, is newly launched. This is almost five years after Penn-Newman and Fanshawe’s renowned corporate finance and recovery firm, Fanshawe Lofts, was acquired by Begbies Traynor.

The founders come with a great reputation and long experience of advising companies needing to resolve complex funding, ownership and strategic issues.