I’m a last resort, for Pompey, says Balram Chainrai

103686_POMPEY_DONCASTER_13/11/10''Balram Chainrai (centre)''Portsmouth V Doncaster Rovers at Fratton Park, Portsmouth.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (103686-2)
103686_POMPEY_DONCASTER_13/11/10''Balram Chainrai (centre)''Portsmouth V Doncaster Rovers at Fratton Park, Portsmouth.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (103686-2)
Plymouth Argyle's Remi Matthews. Picture: PA Images

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BALRAM Chainrai has asked Pompey administrator Trevor Birch to view him as only a last resort in saving the club.

Speaking to The News, the Hong Kong-based businessman called on fans and creditors to support Mr Birch as he works to steer the club away from liquidation.

Reports emerged over the weekend that Mr Chainrai, who is owed £17m by the club as secured creditor, could reluctantly return to take over at Fratton Park.

Mr Chainrai said the club’s administrator showed him the ‘enormity of the problem’ during a meeting on Sunday.

‘I said to him please find a buyer but if you cannot, come back to me and I’ll see what I can do. I do not promise to take over,’ Mr Chainrai said.

‘He explained the enormity of the problem and how it was due to the huge expenses of player wages.

‘I have told him I should be the last choice in saving the club. For a man like me, it’s a very big gap but for Bill Gates it’s nothing. He’s trying his best but there is a 90 per cent chance the club is going to be liquidated, but it’s not going to be his fault.’

He claims he provided the club with an unsecured £250,000 loan to cover December’s wages and said the responsibility to pay charities and small creditors owed £2,500 or less from the previous administration was transferred to Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI) after the group took over in 2011.

He added: ‘I won’t lose anything if the club is liquidated. I don’t have ulterior motives. I’m just a normal guy in Hong Kong with a normal healthy business.’

Mr Birch yesterday said he was still working on securing funding to get the club through to the end of the season.

He also confirmed bonus payments due to Herman Hreidarsson and other players prior to the club’s administration in 2010 remain frozen.

He said: ‘Liquidation remains a possibility because we still have a lot of funding to find to get it beyond the end of the season.

‘He’s leaving it to me to try and sort out because the figures are so high. There’s a lot of stakeholders that need to be involved in any mutual agreement to get this sorted.’

Finance expert Mike Dyer of Portsmouth-based solicitors Verisona said it is likely Mr Chainrai would have made the moves to meet Pompey’s administrator to secure his assets at the club.

He said: ‘It’s more of Mr Chainrai going to Mr Birch to preserve his asset – liquidation of the club would be the opposite.

‘Mr Chainrai taking over again would enable him to continue the search for a buyer who would be more accommodating of the asset.’

Meanwhile former Pompey chief executive Peter Storrie has quashed rumours surfacing on Twitter that he was mounting a consortium to takeover the club.

He said: ‘I am happy to help in any way I can.

‘There doesn’t seem to be, in the short time scale, that there’s a better option than Balu (Chainrai) at the moment.’