Eisner’s ‘ten-year plan’ for Pompey’s Premier League Return

PORTSMOUTH owner Michael Eisner has spoken of his ‘ten-year plan’ to take the club back to the Premier League and in the process turn Pompey into a global force.

The American billionaire took control of the club from the Portsmouth Supporters Trust two years ago, and has reiterated his desire not to make the mistakes of the past.

After a run of seven seasons in the top flight until 2010, Pompey’s fall was rapid – three relegations and two administrations before the club turned itself around.

Last season was just a hint of the potential that remains at the club with a Checkatrade Trophy win in front of 85,000 at Wembley, and a league campaign that saw Portsmouth just fail to win promotion to the Championship.

The desire to throw money around an attempt to gain promotion this time around has been resisted, and Eisner will maintain his business first approach to the club.

“I guess you could say we have a ten-year plan which would be to end up back in the Premier League,” said Eisner in an interview with dailymail.co.uk.

“I know that buying your way in doesn’t work. That’s never been my strategy in business. I just have never heard of a business where the goal was to lose money.

“The British football reality is not a reality that I accept. The strategy is development. It’s all about talent. We want to run it so that they do not get into the situation that they got in before.

“We are all right having a lot of testosterone on the pitch but in the boardroom we have got to control ourselves. It’s about being sensitive to the fans but not over-reacting to any individual loss.”

Eisner had a particular football model in mind before taking Pompey over, scouting clubs across the UK before choosing Portsmouth.

The former Disney boss added: “My son said to me that we ought to find a very famous team that had fallen on hard times and build it back.

“The Queen christened the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in Portsmouth. It’s the second most bombed city in the Second World War after London. It’s been a naval centre since Richard the Lionheart. It’s a very important city.

“At Disney we ran the Anaheim Angels baseball team that was in trouble and we ended up winning the World Series.

“Portsmouth, over the next decade, if we do it well, we will hopefully be a team appreciated globally.”

Pompey kick off the new campaign at Shrewsbury next weekend, with their final warm-up game at Woking on Tuesday. On Saturday goals from Gareth Evans and Tom Naylor gave them a 2-1 win over Crawley Town.

Jamal Lowe was an unused substitute at Crawley and his future at Fratton Park remains unsure with a host of Championship clubs chasing the winger’s signature. At present it appears Pompey will not sell unless their valuation for the 25-year-old is met.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth’s defence of the Checkatrade Trophy begins with a home game against League Two Crawley on Tuesday, September 3. They follow that with a visit to the Kassam Stadium to take on Oxford United on Tuesday, October 8. Their third match sees them face Norwich Under-21s on Tuesday, November 5.