‘Packing the Park will help me sell the club’ – Birch

COMMITTED A Pompey fan kisses the club's badge
COMMITTED A Pompey fan kisses the club's badge
Plymouth Argyle's Remi Matthews. Picture: PA Images

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POMPEY administrator Trevor Birch says a full Fratton Park will aid his search in finding a new buyer.

Mr Birch praised fan-backed initiatives to Pack the Park ahead of tomorrow’s home match against Bristol City.

Hundreds of tickets were handed out to schools across the city as part of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust’s Mother’s Day scheme.

And fans from other clubs across the country are set to show their support for Pompey during its latest crisis by attending the match tomorrow as part of the Fans Reunited idea.

Mr Birch said he is no nearer to finding a new buyer despite continuing talks with interested parties.

But he hinted a potential new owner could be in the stands for tomorrow’s match.

He said: ‘I’m continuing to talk to people and interested parties but there’s nothing tangible at this stage.

‘I am very grateful for the fans’ continued support.

‘The more people we can get into Fratton Park, the more we can create a great atmosphere. It helps me in terms of selling the club to someone.

‘At the next home game, there may well be people interested in buying the club who may well be attending.

‘Filling the ground is going to help us all.

‘In that sense, the fans are doing their bit to save the club.’

Mr Birch stressed there is still an urgency to find a buyer after securing the release of Football League funds.

He added: ‘The pressure hasn’t lifted in that respect and there is no timescale of when we can expect new news. I don’t know if more players will move – it’s still possible but there are no immediate players leaving.

‘I’m just getting on with the job and working hard.’

Discussions continue to be held with the club’s secured creditor Balram Chainrai, according to Mr Birch.

Mr Chainrai is owed £17m by the club and has a charge over Fratton Park.

Mr Birch added: ‘He’s not a stumbling block for me. He wants to sell and he is working with us.

‘I have spoken to him since our first meeting and I am keeping him updated with what’s happening.’

Meanwhile Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp, who was Pompey boss from 2002 to 2004 and again from 2005 to 2008, last night said he was ‘sad’ to see the club enduring its current problems.

In a television interview, he said: ‘When you look back on it, you look at the money they sold players for.

‘People like Glen Johnson, who we paid £4m for and £19m to Liverpool – you just wonder where all the money disappeared to.

‘It really is a shame.’