MORE than a hundred people promised money by Portsmouth Football Club’s former owners are still waiting for it to be paid.
In May last year, while the club was in administration, former owner Balram Chainrai told all creditors owed £2,500 or less that they would get their money back in full from his company Portpin Ltd.
It was written in black and white in various reports sent to the club’s creditors by administrators UHY Hacker Young.
But, 14 months on, the club has come out of administration, been sold to new owners Convers Sports Initiatives, and the money has still not been paid to those 167 so-called ‘small creditors’.
Now it appears Mr Chainrai’s promises will be honoured by Pompey instead – but the club has warned paying back the small creditors in full will be a lengthy and complicated process.
It is unclear whether Mr Chainrai will stand by his promise to pay the small creditors, or whether CSI will have to foot the £115,205 bill.
Creditors are now left wondering when they will get their cash.
Roger Higgins, who runs Unilight UK in Hillhead, is owed £924.
He said: ‘In the meetings, Chainrai’s people said they’d pay. I’ve said that when they do pay me I’ll give £500 to charity. It’s the principle of the thing really, because they made a big deal of it at the creditors’ meeting.’
One of Pompey administrators, Michael Kiely, said: ‘It is a pledge that’s still in place – Portsmouth are still looking to pay them in full.
‘I’m not sure whether it will be Portpin who pay, the club, or the new owners. That is not clear.’
Mr Chainrai said: ‘I saved the club, I did everything possible for the club, and I have nothing to do with it any more.’ But he said he did not want to make any further comment immediately.
Meanwhile, the club said it is working to get everyone paid, but said it was a very complicated process.
It is understood some creditors owed more than £2,500 have adjusted their claims to fall below the £2,500 threshold, to guarantee full payment, when other creditors will only receive 20p for every pound they are owed.
Each and every claim has to be examined, and each creditor has to agree to complex repayment terms.
Chief executive David Lampitt said: ‘We continue to assure the small creditors affected by this that they will receive payment in full and that we continue to work with our lawyers, the liquidators and the administrators to effect those payments as a matter of priority.’
Club’s meltdown left businesses out of pocket
WHEN Pompey went into administration it left hundreds of people out of pocket.
Almost all the small creditors are local businesses.
Richard Sexton, who runs Kick-Point UK in Southsea, is owed £2.035.51 for hiring a penalty scoring game to the club for community days.
He said the experience has put and end to his lifelong support of Pompey.
Mr Sexton said: ‘I’ve not heard a dicky-bird about the money; I’ve had no letter from Portpin.
‘It’s disgraceful how we’ve been treated. I will not give that club one more penny.’
George Kattenhorn, 73, is owed £1,173.83 for work he did repairing potholes in the main car park at Fratton Park.
He said: ‘If someone promises you they’re going to pay you and it’s coming from a gentleman who’s pretty wealthy, you’d have thought he’d honour his promise.’