Pompey answer Bolton’s call in bid to survive

Trevor Birch and Iain McInnes. Pompey v Bristol Rovers. League Two. Fratton Park. Saturday, April 19, 2014. Picture: Joe Pepler PPP-140420-135806002
Trevor Birch and Iain McInnes. Pompey v Bristol Rovers. League Two. Fratton Park. Saturday, April 19, 2014. Picture: Joe Pepler PPP-140420-135806002
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Bolton are fighting for their lives as they battle to combat a winding-up petition issued by the taxman.

Now their survival plan has involved reaching out to Pompey for crucial assistance.

Obviously clubs have seen the way a consortium like ours can come together and implement success and as far as I am concerned all we can do is give them the best advice we possibly can

Iain McInnes

The Trotters’ owner, Eddie Davies, has halted his financial support, with the Championship club £185m in debt to him.

In addition, HM Revenue & Customs are bidding to collect what is claimed to be a seven-figure sum, with a court hearing on January 18.

In the meantime Bolton fans are attempting to form a supporters’ trust, and are also exploring the possibility of joining forces with high net worth investors.

It is a model Pompey have successfully employed since April 2013 having fought off the spectre of liquidation.

Former joint-administrator from that period, Trevor Birch, has since left administrators BDO and is now a financial advisor at the Macron.

Upon his request, Blues chairman Iain McInnes and board member Mike Dyer will today take the trip up north to meet those bidding to save the club.

And McInnes is hoping their own success story can aid the crisis club in their attempts to find a way forwards.

He said: ‘Trevor asked if we fancied going up there because there are some people interested in forming something similar to what was put together at Pompey to purchase the club.

‘It is about meeting a few like-minded people and having a chat about our experiences.

‘It’s a good reflection on what we have achieved at Pompey because, let’s face it, a fair number of people felt we couldn’t make it work here – and there is no doubt we have made it work here.

‘There are a number of other football clubs and people who have visited Portsmouth over the last two-and-a-half seasons and enquired how we work.

‘If people want to have a conversation about putting in large donations of money and standing to lose them, that is something I have had experience of and am happy to talk about.

‘But if it comes along the lines of putting together a supporters’ trust made up of thousands of supporters and the organisation behind that, then clearly it is something for Ashley Brown and his team to get involved in and I am sure he will be delighted to do so.

‘I am certainly not going to sit there and pretend to be a Trust specialist, that’s for sure.

‘I recall Trevor had to be fairly convinced himself in the first place that the Trust could work, so he is a convert and currently has a tough job on his hands to make things work and turn it around.

‘Bolton are a similar club to ours, it’s a club with a great history with a very passionate bunch of people who want to see it survive.

‘Obviously clubs have seen the way a consortium like ours can come together and implement success and as far as I am concerned all we can do is give them the best advice we possibly can.

‘Then it is up to them.’

The Pompey Supporters’ Trust’s shareholding as of October is £2.75m, which accounts for 48.48 per cent of the club.