Date: 21st March 2013 at 7:14pm
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The Pompey Trust is now in full swing organising all manner of fund raising and community based events. Rug told you earlier today about the Hermann friendly where all proceeds go to the Trust and fans get a chance to thank the Icelandic giant for his unstinting service – I urge you snap up the tickets now!!

Meanwhile my inbox is always contains Press Releases from Colin Farmery and I thought I would share a couple of them with you. My regular blog on Sunday is too late for the first which takes place this Sunday –

Fair raises funds to bind historic Pompey programmes

Raising cash to create a bound Portsmouth football programme collection is the aim of the latest edition of the Portsmouth FC Programme and Memorabilia Fair, to be held at Fratton Park on Sunday March 24 in the Victory Suite.

The historic collection of almost every Pompey programme since the 1920s has been homeless for a number of years, but organiser Chris Gibbs wants to put that right, especially with the club about to become owned by the Pompey Supporters’ Trust.

‘In the past the fair has raised hundreds of pounds for local, Portsmouth FC based charities, but this year all money raised will go towards creating a bound Portsmouth FC programme collection which dates back to the 1920s. There are some issues which are missing from the early years and they are unlikely to be sourced, but it will still be an important reference,’ said Chris.

‘Due to lack of space at the club at present there is nowhere to display the programmes, but it is hoped to arrange for somewhere to be found so as they can be put back on display, along with other items of the club’s history that are being held in storage. As a fan I feel the heritage of the club is vital and I am sure the Trust understands this,’ he added.

At the fair Chris will be on hand to offer any advice of programmes and programme collecting. He will also have a selection of Portsmouth programmes from the current season for sale, if anyone has any gaps they need filling, and will have the postponed programme from the home Notts County game which was called off due to a waterlogged pitch. He will also be there if anyone need advice on selling any programmes that they might have for sale, especially ones from pre-1980.

Mick Hall from Horndean will have a stall, and as the main dealer in Portsmouth programmes, will have a large stock of Portsmouth items on sale. Other stall holders will include, Andrew Murray (Southampton and current season programmes), Ian Hands (Crawley Town Club Shop and non league), Colin Boulter (East Midlands, old programmes), Elmo Books (sporting books), Bill Priddy (local sporting cards and photos) and Steve Bytheway (IOW, general programmes). All will have a stock of Portsmouth programmes with them.

Also at the fair will be Portsmouth FC Hall of Fame organiser, Jake Payne who along with Malcolm Drew will be selling off a collection of signed football and sporting shirts. Grahame Farmer will be promoting the Jimmy Dickinson statue which he is hoping to have erected near the ground. Local artist Mark Kellett, who proved a popular stall holder at the last fair will have a selection of his paintings of Portsmouth FC players, past and present. There will also be a number stalls with local fans selling mainly Portsmouth FC items.

The fairs have been running at Fratton Park for over 30 years and have grown from four stall holders in 1980 to 15 now. It is one of the longest established fairs outside of London. The first few fairs used to be mainly selling programmes, but now they cater for all types of sporting memorabilia, from programmes to badges, old shirts to key rings, photos to books.

Entrance to the fair is via the main club car park, behind the Fratton End stand. Doors to the Victory Suite are open to the public at 11am and close at 2pm. Entrance is £1, but under 16s are free and they will receive a free bundle of programmes.

The second concerns a meeting on Saturday with another of the growing army of Supporters Trust groups around the country. With the possible plunge of this week`s visitors Coventry City into administration tomorrow their Trust are meeting with their Pompey counterparts to learn how the Blues have got to the threshold of owning their club.


Solidarity between football supporters in adversity will be underlined at the weekend when representatives of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust and their counterparts from Coventry`s Sky Blue Trust get together at Fratton Park.

The meeting between the two groups has been arranged before their respective sides meet in a League 1 clash and high on the agenda will be discussions about how supporters can effectively step in when things go wrong at their clubs.

By the time the game kicks off, Coventry supporters will know the outcome of Friday`s High Court hearing about the application to put their club into administration.

Pompey fans have been grappling with chronic mismanagement at the own club for a number of years, leading to a second administration in two years in February 2012, but the Trust is now on the brink of an historic takeover of the club.

Chairman of the PST Ashley Brown said: ‘We can sympathise with the situation at Coventry and this meeting between the two trusts will be a good opportunity for us to explain our experiences.

‘We have had an ongoing dialogue with the Sky Blue Trust since last November and with the deteriorating situation at Coventry, it is fantastic to hear that in the last week alone they have increased their membership from 800 to 1200.

‘That`s a phenomenal achievement and the Sky Blue Trust has really established itself as a key stakeholder and the only one whose first priority is the interests of the fans.’

PST has raised more than £2m in a community share issue and partnered with some individual Pompey fan investors raising a further £1m enabling it to be able to buy the club. The Trust has also teamed up with Portsmouth City Council and a property partner to borrow money in the short-term to buy Fratton Park as part of the deal.

Gary Stubbs of the Sky Blue Trust said: ‘Members of Sky Blue Trust are delighted to be meeting up again with their colleagues from the Pompey Trust prior to their respective teams’ match on Saturday.

‘The Sky Blue Trust wish to publicly congratulate their Portsmouth friends on their amazing achievements to date as they stand on the threshold of forming the largest supporter-owned football club in Britain.

‘Supporter ownership and participation are at the heart of what the Sky Blue Trust is aiming to achieve at Coventry and the trailblazing efforts at Portsmouth are an example to fans across the country as to what can be achieved.

‘The key aim of the Sky Blue Trust is to ensure Coventry fans participate in the ownership and running of their club. Supporters should be at the heart of every club and we wish Pompey Trust every success in completing their journey very shortly.’

Helping broker the meeting has been Supporters Direct – the body which promotes fan engagement in sports clubs – and its spokesman Kevin Rye added: ‘The fact we are seeing clubs the size of Portsmouth and Coventry seriously considering community ownership options underlines the momentum our movement is gaining.

‘At Supporters’ Direct we want to promote a model of community ownership, led by supporters` trusts, underpinning sustainable economic models for professional sports clubs as we feel it is the only sensible way forward.’

OK then – support the Hermann match and the Programme Fair and good luck to the lads and lassies of the Coventry Trust.

See you all on Sunday for Toast