Chainrai set to become Pompey owner again

Balram Chainrai is to become Pompey's owner again
Balram Chainrai is to become Pompey's owner again
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Balram Chainrai is on the verge of becoming Pompey’s ‘reluctant owner’ for a second time.

The Hong Kong businessman is set to hold talks with administrator Trevor Birch to prevent the club from being liquidated.

If the club was to fold, Chainrai would stand to lose the £17m he is owed as a secured creditor from his previous spell as Blues owner.

Chainrai is an unpopular figure with many Pompey fans.

But after Birch admitted the club was close to running out of money, Chainrai now appears the only option to prevent Pompey from folding.

Chainrai told Sky Sports: ‘I will definitely make efforts to become a reluctant owner, again, until a proper owner can be found.

‘I will do my best not to allow him (Birch) to liquidate the club.’

In an interview with The Sun, Chainrai also defended his past handling of Pompey.

He said: ‘I genuinely hoped the club could find a new buyer after CSI went into administration. Unfortunately, there has been a great deal of negativity around my involvement in Portsmouth. That made it extremely difficult for me to intervene this time.

‘A lot of that negativity is misplaced and unacceptable when you consider we initially loaned previous owners money in good faith.

‘I am not the villain of the piece here. I am certainly not the one holding Portsmouth to ransom, anything but. Yes, I took security on my loan.

‘But I’m a businessman and, taking into account the money involved, it stood to reason why I would do that.

Chainrai also defended his involvement in the sale of Pompey to CSI.

He said: ‘We spent over £600,000 in fees to find a buyer — a buyer the Football League spent three months researching and gave a clean bill of health.

‘What is unacceptable is the way the directors ran the club and the negligence of senior management in not intervening. By all accounts they invested more than £11m, the bulk of which went to player recruitment and wages.

‘Didn’t anyone learn from the debacle two years ago?’