Liquidation possible says administrator as he reveals Pompey are in £59m debt

SPEAKING OUT Pompey administrator Trevor Birch at the Millwall game
SPEAKING OUT Pompey administrator Trevor Birch at the Millwall game
Pompey midfielder Danny Rose. Picture: Joe Pepler

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POMPEY’S administrator Trevor Birch says he cannot rule out liquidation after revealing the club owes £59m.

Creditors were sent a report by administrators PKF yesterday detailing its findings since their appointment in February.

The report shows £40.5m is owed to unsecured creditors, of which £6.6m is due to football creditors.

It confirms Portpin – the firm of former Pompey owner Balram Chainrai – is owed £18.6m due to its fixed charge over Fratton Park.

Mr Birch said he had been in discussion with ‘a small number of interested parties, although no offers have been received to date’.

‘We continue to believe that we can find a buyer for the club before the money runs out and are doing everything we can to achieve this,’ he said.

‘As things stand, we cannot rule out the possibility of having to liquidate the company if our efforts aren’t successful.

‘It would be irresponsible to claim otherwise. However, we want the club to have a sustainable long-term future and are working hard to make this vision a reality.’

PKF, which has run up costs of £524,000 since being appointed, says unsecured creditors include Pompey’s former parent company CSI, which is owed £10.5m, transfer and agents’ fees to English and overseas clubs, unpaid salaries, and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. The £16.5m Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) with creditors from the club’s last administration in 2010 is also listed.

Among the other known creditors are Domino’s Pizza, schools, Southampton Football Club, The Poppy Appeal charity, Real Betis Football Club and Wembley Stadium.

The amount unsecured creditors are due to receive will be decided when the club exits administration through a CVA, but Mr Birch says he is not in a position to estimate how much will be repaid.

Administrators warned creditors would receive even less if the club is liquidated and its assets sold off piecemeal. A creditors’ meeting will be held at the Victory Lounge in Fratton Park on April 26 from 11am.

Trust urges share support

THE Pompey Supporters’ Trust has urged fans to back its share scheme after Trevor Birch’s liquidation warning.

Spokesman Scott Mclachlan said: ‘The statement from Mr Birch reiterates the message that Pompey could be a matter of weeks from disappearing unless a buyer can be found.

‘The CVA is crucial as it is hoped it could deliver a debt-free Pompey to any prospective buyer and will make urgent restructuring to cut the club’s running costs easier.

‘It highlights that the trust’s pre-share issue is currently the only positive move anyone has made to save it.

‘We ask everyone to get involved in pledging to buy a share by visiting communitypompey.co.uk and depositing £100 to register your interest.’