Chainrai’s U-turn leads to rise in support for trust

Balram Chainrai
Balram Chainrai
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THE Pompey Supporters’ Trust says there has been an increase in fans backing its bid for Pompey following Balram Chainrai’s decision to walk away from negotiations.

It comes as Colin Farmery, trust spokesman, said the fans’ group was working hard behind the scenes to ensure it is ready to finalise its bid for the club by Friday.

Administrator Trevor Birch said he hoped the trust would be ready with its bid by the end of the week.

On Saturday, the trust issued an open letter to Balram Chainrai, who was set to regain control of Pompey before walking away from negotiations.

It urged the Hong Kong businessman to negotiate with members over the value of Fratton Park.

The trust is currently offering Mr Chainrai, and his Portpin firm, £2.45m for the ground in its business plan.

But Mr Farmery would not comment on whether the trust had received a response from Mr Chainrai or Portpin representatives.

He said: ‘We are continuing to finalise our bid and meet the deadline of August 24 set by Trevor Birch to have everything ready.

‘It’s all systems go as far as we are concerned and pushing ahead with the bid.

‘We are pulling out all the stops to ensure it is completed in the time frame.

‘We have put this letter together but Trevor Birch is in contact with the relevant parties in keeping us in the loop.’

Mr Chainrai’s decision to walk away has led to more fans coming forward to pledge towards the trust’s share scheme, according to Mr Farmery.

The scheme asks fans to put forward an initial £100 before acquiring a full share for £1,000 when the trust takes over.

Mr Farmery added: ‘The news of Portpin pulling out has galvanised fans who were perhaps waiting to see what happens next.

‘We are very encouraged by the response so far – and hopefully more fans will come forward in the next few days.

‘The more people that pledge towards the scheme, the stronger the trust’s bid becomes.’

Mr Farmery added: ‘We want fans to realise the trust is in pole position and the best option for the club.’