The man who can give fans hope again

Pompey administrator Trevor Birch
Pompey administrator Trevor Birch
The Brewer's Arms in Milton Road in 2012

Measures are needed to stop decline of the pub

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Pompey have once again found themselves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

But Friday, 17 February, 2012, may just be a landmark date for the right ones.

The Blues’ official descent into administration has again put the club at the top of the sports news agenda.

Round-the-clock news channels have been majoring on the development, Pompey have found themselves the focus of angry column inches and radio stations have been lamenting that joke of a south coast club, and questioning how it again finds itself in such trouble.

It’s nothing we’ve not heard before, of course, and nothing that wasn’t expected.

It seems a little information can be a dangerous thing when it comes to having an opinion of how the club came to be in its current predicament.

What did arrive as a brilliant bolt from the royal blue, however, was news from the High Court on the identity of the club’s latest administrator.

Yes, step forward and take a bow Mr Justice Alastair Norris, because his decision not to appoint Andrew Andronikou’s UHY Hacker Young in the position may be the best news the club has heard in a long time.

The decision to instead opt for Trevor Birch’s PKF has been greeted with real enthusiasm from the Fratton faithful.

Why? Because it would appear to break the link between debenture holder Balram Chainrai and the club’s administrators.

Pompey fans had been quick to air their concerns about the close proximity between the pair – a view echoed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

They believed UHY’s appointment, given the fact they oversaw the club’s last administration and that of parent company Convers Sports Initiatives, would not be correct.

The fact Chainrai offered £500,000 to Pompey to approve the administrator spoke of his desperation for control, as he seeks to recoup his £17m.

It didn’t happen, and instead we have seen Birch and Co arrive, as UHY packed up their briefcases and got out of PO4.

But it appears the man dubbed ‘Admin Andy’ by fans is leaving kicking and screaming after making his own complaints to accountancy authorities over PKF’s appointment.

Despite that, we hope and expect now for a fresh impetus at Fratton Park, one which alleviates fans’ fears of any kind of favouritism towards certain creditors.

And, to coin the popular phrase around these parts, the due diligence on Birch has unearthed plenty of reasons for Pompey fans to be cheerful. A credible football man with a long background in the game is arriving.

Birch has history as a player on the pitch and, off it, was credited with bringing Roman Abramovich to Stamford Bridge as Chelsea chief executive.

There’s no doubt the 54-year-old will have some horrible decisions to make in the coming days and weeks, but supporters will have the belief they are being made in the best interests of the club they love.

In the meantime, they will have to deal with more of the nonsense we’ve been hearing about punishments which should be meted to Pompey.

Most of the bad guys have long since left town, but that has not stopped the calls for death sentences to be handed out.

The fact it would be the victims who have already been looted and abused in the hangman’s noose, seems to be of little consequence to those baying for blood.