Pompey on brink again as Chainrai pulls out
Portsmouth FC face liquidation once again after Balram Chainrai's Portpin vehicle withdrew its bid for the club. Portpin blamed the administrators for spending £12m of parachute payments on their fees and payments to players. They also complained about negative criticism and lack of support from the fans of the club.
The ball now passes to the Pompey Supporters' Trust, although Portpin are not out of the picture and have said that they will do what they can to help save the club. Many believe that Chainrai remains the only credible bidder.
Chainrai could be willing to return to negotiations if the £1.43m fees accumulated by PFK International, the administrator, and Pinsent Masons, the associated legal firm were reduced considerably below £1m. In particular he wants to see the legal fees cut by about £450,000 which looks like a big ask.
Chainrai is also aggrieved about Portsmouth being docked ten points by the Football League because it was unhappy that some unsecured creditors will receive only 1 per cent of the money that was owed to them at the time the club first entered administration in 2010.
The Trust has £2m of assured funds, but the asking price is £11m, leaving aside the costs of assembling a proper team. Nevertheless, the Trust still hopes that Portsmouth could become the biggest community owned club in the country. Administrator Trevor Birch thinks that the Trust have become a more credible buyer in the past fortnight with the backing of a £1.45m loan from the city council.
Asked on Radio 5 why the Trust wouldn't follow the option of dissolving the club and starting again in the non-league, a spokesman said that might be a viable option in February but taking that route now would mean a season without football.