Pompey sale will take weeks, not days – even to former owner

WARNING Trevor Birch.   Picture: Robin Jones
WARNING Trevor Birch. Picture: Robin Jones
Conor Chaplin could start againsyt Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Plymouth: pre-match talking points

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IF a deal is to be done that will see Balram Chainrai again become the ‘reluctant’ owner of Pompey, it will take weeks, not days, to be complete.

The News understands that, despite rumours to the contrary, no deal has yet been signed.

Joint administrator Trevor Birch met Mr Chainrai over the weekend, but confirmed that the talks were not extensive.

It is up to Mr Birch to decide whether to allow Mr Chainrai to become owner again, but he is duty-bound by the court to do the best deal for all Pompey’s creditors.

Speaking on behalf of Mr Birch, a spokesman for PKF said: ‘This was a reasonably brief initial meeting.

‘It’s Trevor who has to go back to the court and say whether in his professional opinion this would be the best deal and good for all the creditors.’

Sources close to Fratton Park have confirmed that, if it goes ahead, the deal will still take weeks to complete, rather than days.

Mr Chainrai is able to take over again because of the money he is owed by Convers Sports Initiatives, which went into administration at the tail end of last year.

His debt was secured on the club after CSI bought it from his company Portpin in June last year.

Former Pompey director Roman Dubov has said that Mr Chainrai had agreed to keep the club out of administration by funding its running costs, but only now has he vowed to save it from liquidation.

The News attempted to speak to Mr Chainrai yesterday, but was told he had left Britain for Hong Kong, where he is based, and would be unavailable for comment.

Meanwhile, members of the Pompey Supporters Trust met Andrew Andronikou, who handled the last club administration in 2010, and who is now dealing with the administration of CSI.

The location of the secret meeting has not been revealed, but yesterday the trust issued a statement about it.

It said: ‘On Monday Pompey Supporters Trust board members met with Mr Andronikou at his request at a location in Portsmouth.

‘The meeting was cordial and allowed the trust to hear Mr Andronikou’s side of the story of the events of the previous three months.

‘The trust learned nothing new from this meeting but it is important we meet with everyone who will have a say in the future of PFC during this latest administration.’