End of season? That’s when it gets scary at Pompey

SPEAKING OUT Pompey administrator Trevor Birch
SPEAKING OUT Pompey administrator Trevor Birch
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss points to lack of cutting edge

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POMPEY administrator Trevor Birch says the club’s plight turns ‘scary’ when the curtain falls on the season.

Mr Birch, of accountancy firm PKF, admits time is still of the essence as his search for a new buyer continues.

Pompey’s final game is against Nottingham Forest on April 28 – just a month away.

He told The News, players and staff have to be paid and general running costs – including rent and electricity – need to be met over the close period.

But he would not reveal what Pompey’s outgoings are.

He said: ‘Staff and players are paid monthly but I cannot say what the outgoings will be over the summer.

‘It will be a different figure given what players leave. There is a bit of breathing space but not very long. I cannot put a timescale on it.

‘When the season is going we get gate receipts and Football League money.

‘Pre-season is not a sigh of relief. There is no income then and that’s when it starts getting scary’.

He added he does not envisage Pompey encountering any problems in reaching the end of the season after the Football League agreed to release distribution funds to the club.

The club will receive £800,000 in monthly instalments of £200,000.

Mr Birch said talks are still progressing with interested bidders but admitted they were not near a conclusion.

He said: ‘We are inviting offers. There is no figure on how much is needed to buy the club – we don’t want to put figures out there.

‘We’d rather let people come in, have a look and bid.

‘Fratton Park is not a stumbling block.

‘People will want to buy the ground and do some kind of development to enhance it.’

He confirmed a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) drawn up to bring Pompey out of administration in 2010 has failed.

Around £16.5m was due to unsecured creditors and the first instalment was due to be paid on April 1.

But the club’s recent administration means the previous agreement will become a creditor in a new CVA, according to Mr Birch.

He said: ‘The CVA won’t be paid.

‘It’s failed because this company is now in administration and won’t be able to honour the agreement.

‘There will be no penalties to the club. The administration itself is a penalty with the 10 point deduction.

‘The CVA becomes a creditor in this one. It becomes part of any potential new CVA that arises from this administration.’

Baker Tilly’s Geoff Carton-Kelly, joint-liquidator of Pompey in 2010, said letters will be sent out to creditors updating them on the situation.

He said: ‘The obligation to meet those payments is effectively over.

‘Subsequent events have confirmed what we thought might happen. Unless Mr Birch and his colleagues can pull some serious rabbits out of hats, it looks as if the source of funds in meeting claims of creditors in the old company are not going to bear fruit.’