Fifth bidder arrives with offer to buy Pompey

Fratton Park
Fratton Park
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1 Southend 0: They said what

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SOURCES downplayed the significance of yet another bidder entering the frame with an offer to buy Pompey late last night.

Portco, a UK-based investment company, approached Pompey’s administrator Trevor Birch at the 11th hour claiming to have £6.45m on the table.

But it’s understood Mr Birch told them they are way behind the bids from Pompey Supporters’ Trust and Portpin.

The offer from Portco is the fifth to be submitted for the club in recent weeks.

Former Pompey owner Sulaiman Al Fahim and ex-Watford director Laurence Bassini have also placed bids. Both are thought to be unlikely to succeed.

It was suggested Portco only went public with their offer after being told they are behind in the running.

‘The trust and Portpin very much remain the frontrunners,’ said an insider.

‘The trust and Portpin are making more progress and they are talking to the Football League. They are at an advanced stage in their business plans.’

Portco is fronted by Scottish-born Harry Kerr, a Hibernian and Arsenal fan who lives in London and is managing director of an investment firm called Avalon.

Rumours circulated last night that Pompey fan and businessman Terry Pritchard is involved with the Portco offer.

But Mr Pritchard, who was a backer in a failed 2010 takeover bid fronted by 21-year-old Tom Lever, did not respond to calls from The News last night.

Pompey Supporters’ Trust said it was ignoring the other parties as it continues to work on its popular bid for the club.

Spokesman Colin Farmery said: ‘The trust’s bid, we believe, is the best.

‘We are credible, we are stronger, we are better. We have the bid that offers the best deal for creditors and the club going forward.

‘We have been preparing this bid since March so we feel we are very well prepared for what needs to be done.’

Key to developments over the coming days is what will become of the land owned by former Pompey owner Sacha Gaydamak around the stadium.

It was suggested last night that there have been a number of inquiries about the so-called ‘ransom strip’ held by Gaydamak’s Miland Development 2004 Ltd.

The land is available for £2.5m but it is practically worthless without control of Fratton Park due to council planning rules.