Pompey Supporters’ Trust submits bid for Portsmouth Football Club

BID READY Pompey Supporters Trust are set to submit its bid
BID READY Pompey Supporters Trust are set to submit its bid

THE Pompey Supporters’ Trust has formally lodged its bid to take over the club.

It submitted its offer with Pompey administrator Trevor Birch yesterday morning and say it is a bid that deserves ‘serious consideration’.

But it will not disclose the details of the proposals, sighting confidentiality reasons ahead of Monday’s Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) meeting at Fratton Park.

Creditors will vote on the proposals put forward by Balram Chainrai’s Portpin, which offers unsecured creditors 2p in the pound, but will not have the opportunity to vote on the trust’s offer.

The administrator will now consider the proposals before putting it to creditors.

Rosemary Penn–Newman, of insolvency firm Begbies Traynor, helped finalise the bid. She said: ‘The trust has been working on putting this bid together for some time but we feel that we now have an offer that deserves serious consideration.

‘Whichever bidder ends up in the driving seat there will still be a lot of work to do to ensure a successful completion, the most important of which is continuing the on-going negotiations with the creditors.’

Trust chairman Ashley Brown said: ‘In recent years the community as a whole has become disenfranchised from Portsmouth FC. Huge amounts of money came into the football club and disappeared into the pockets of a few, whilst local businesses remained unpaid.

‘Whilst the proposal from the trust cannot right all those wrongs, we do believe we offer the best future for the club and community.’

Mr Birch said: ‘I will continue to look at the bid and the creditors at Monday’s meeting will give me the right to look at other offers other than Portpin’s.

‘I need to be working with them trying to make sure it’s a credible and deliverable bid.’

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt said the trust’s bid is a ‘tremendous achievement’.

She said: ‘People should feel very proud that the fanbase has been able to do this and confident that it’s the best possible bid they could put together.’

Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson added: ‘I hope they have been able to get the money together to take the club forward.

‘The last thing is for it not to be thought through and the funds not there for the bid to work.

Stadium key to takeover, says finance expert

INSOLVENCY expert Carl Faulds says the battle to take control of Pompey could focus on the ownership of Fratton Park.

Mr Faulds, managing director of Fareham firm Portland, praised the trust for putting in its CVA proposal yesterday but said the bid relies on how much financial backing it has.

He added making an offer for the stadium, which Balram Chainrai has a charge over, could help.

He said: ‘I would think most people would want the trust to get control of the club, but the question is money and if they have enough to support the bid.

‘I would think the meeting would agree to a minimum offer of 2p in the pound and then negotiate with both parties to agree a deal.

‘The free holding is a sticking point. If they make a reasonable offer for it, it gives Mr Birch an opportunity to go to court and force the sale.

‘If they put in a bid of around £2m, Mr Chainrai would have to prove it’s worth more.’