Apparently Walt Disney was of French descent, the family name being D’Isigny before it was Angliscised to its current form. From 1928 until 1947, Disney himself did the voice of Mickey Mouse.
Other Disney facts include that the company made propaganda films and training videos during World War II and that amongst his final, deathbed words, was the name ‘Kurt Russell’, which was scribbled on paper.
Moving away from the history of Disney and bringing it more up to the present, it seems that ex-Disney CEO Michael Eisner is rumoured to be in talks with Sky Bet League Two side Portsmouth with a view to buying the club, according to The News.
Eisner, who left the Disney Corporation in September 2005, was at the helm of the animation giant for 21 years and oversaw annual revenue growth from US$1.5 billion to nearly US$31 billion in a legacy that one observer said: “is brilliance, mixed with turmoil.”
Portsmouth currently sit third in the Sky Bet League Two table and The News say that Eisner, who they call a “would-be owner”, watched the 4-0 thrashing of Grimsby Town last week and “is in negotiations to take ownership of the League Two club.”
The News also say that Eisner is “eager” to make headway into the burgeoning market that is English football through his Tornante investment group. However, they warn that any investment or deal will still need to be ratified by shareholders, quoting Portsmouth’s chief executive Mark Catlin saying that this is the right manner of approach with the community club.
A Portsmouth club statement said that: “A cornerstone of this work has been our openness and transparency with shareholders and supporters alike, while at the same time also respecting the confidentiality and commercial sensitivity of business agreements and contracts. We would like to assure all shareholders and supporters that we have a robust process in place to deal with any potential offers of investment.”
The club statement goes on to say that any final say will rest with the shareholders, including largest shareholder the Portsmouth Supporters’ Trust (PST) who will be the ultimate decider of whether the bid is in the club’s best interest.
For their part, the PST released their own statement saying: “If there is a serious and credible offer, our shareholders will decide the outcome. The three PST directors of Portsmouth Community Football Club will be fully involved in discussions. We understand how owning your club means and retaining an ownership stake will be central to any discussions we enter into.”
The News say that ex-Disney CEO and billionaire Eisner is attracted by how supporters saved the club in 2013, the manner in which it sits at the heart of its community and how the finances have been managed since coming out of administration.