POMPEY fans are a huge step closer to taking over at Fratton Park.
In what could be a new dawn for the club, the Pompey Supporters’ Trust has been granted backing from Portsmouth City Council to form a major part of its takeover bid.
But the trust needs to clear one more hurdle to take over Pompey – and that’s Balram Chainrai.
His Portpin firm is close to wrapping up a deal to reclaim control at Fratton Park and could be finalised within 24 hours.
Should Mr Chainrai take over again, it will be up to him to decide if the trust’s proposals are a good deal.
It comes after an extraordinary day when the fans’ group won unanimous support from councillors to approve a £1.45m loan.
With Tal Ben Haim leaving and Liam Lawrence due to reach a compromise last night, the possibility of Pompey being liquidated today was eradicated.
Now the formalities of Mr Chainrai’s CVA proposals, which were voted through in June, come into effect – paving the way for him to take over for a third time.
A spokesman for Pompey administrators PKF said: ‘It’s all systems go to complete a deal with Portpin to safeguard the club’s future.
‘We are talking to Portpin in order to complete the purchase of the club in the next few days.
‘Once the players leave or sign the compromise agreement, then the CVA terms have been met and it’s a case of holding final discussions.
‘If Portpin does complete we still see a very important role for the trust. They could get together with Portpin and work on a joint-deal or the potential transition to the trust in due course.
‘We are now in a much stronger position and the threat of liquidation has dramatically reduced.’
He added if Portpin was to pull out of a deal the trust would be in pole position as a ‘credible’ option.
Trust chairman Ashley Brown said the ball is in the court of administrator Trevor Birch and Portpin over the next step.
He said: ‘Now we’ve got this loan Portpin are the key element. They can take over the football club if they choose to, but we know they don’t really want to take over.’
Vice-chairman Mick Williams added: ‘I think Portpin will realise that we can do it now – the offer is on the table and we want to buy the club off them.
‘But this is a big step towards a historic blueprint for the rest of the country’s clubs.’
Ian McInnes, who could be the club’s new chairman if the trust take over, said discussions have been held with Portpin and the trust.
He said: ‘The reality of it is there’s more sense and conviviality now, and grounds for optimism.
‘It might be not today or tomorrow but in the not too distant future something positive can come out of that arrangement.’