Cleansed Pompey can bounce back

Trevor Birch
Trevor Birch
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Trevor Birch believes League One can provide the ‘cleansing process’ to resurrect Pompey.

The Blues stand on the brink of relegation following Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat to Millwall.

Their fate could be sealed on Saturday should Bristol City better Pompey’s result at Doncaster.

Regardless of when that expected drop into League One occurs, Birch is confident that will not impact on their chances of finding a buyer.

The likes of Norwich and Southampton have shown it is possible to bounce back as a more stable club.

Leeds and Leicester have also returned from that level in recent times.

The majority of Pompey fans are certainly not fearful of League One football next season – particularly when the club’s very existence is still undecided.

Relegation would crucially also see a drop of approximately £1.5m in television revenue.

But administrator Birch is adamant Pompey can emerge as a stronger outfit.

He said: ‘It is about saving the club rather than saving the season.

‘So many clubs coming down from the Premier League have struggled to rebuild and restructure in the face of needing to put out a team to be competitive and also clearing the decks.

‘It is an incredible difference to drop from the Premier League.

‘But relegation to League One can be a cleansing process.

‘It can help construct new foundations.

‘Clubs coming back up with a spring in their step seems to be the way rather than collapsing.

‘It needs to be looked at positively because it is a chance to rebuild and put in some strong foundations that will stand in good stead.

‘Players can be moved on and the club have been restructured to become a more stable model and one which can last.

‘Relegation would not be the end of the world.

‘It is not of significant importance to stay in the Championship.

‘As for owners, a number of parties might think there’s a better deal to be done which will make League One more attractive.

‘I actually think, despite relegation, it would probably be neutral in terms of potential interest.

‘People will have to weigh that up. Does it become more of an attractive proposition in terms of picking up a bargain?’

The Pompey Supporters’ Trust are currently carrying out due diligence over a prospective buy out.

Birch insists another three parties retain an interest.

Yet with existing funds expected to run out at the end of next month, a new owner is required soon.

He added: ‘We are still looking at probably four parties, including the Trust.

‘We are still talking, there is nothing concrete and there have been no bids.

‘There is a short period after the football season ends before the money runs out.

‘It was always going to be tight.

‘And we are still looking at the end of May.’