Pompey trust’s chairman hits out at Harris’ Fratton Park offer

DISAPPOINTED Ashley Brown

DISAPPOINTED Ashley Brown

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DERAILING a fans’ bid to take over Pompey would almost certainly spell the end of the club, the chairman of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust has warned.

Ashley Brown has hit out at a rival bid by investment banker Keith Harris after it emerged yesterday he is offering £6.3m for Fratton Park.

As reported in The News, it comes less than a week before the future of the club is decided in the High Court.

Mr Brown last night accused the trust’s rivals of playing Russian roulette with the club’s future.

He said: ‘Pompey’s season ends on April 27, and frankly Harris has no time to play this very dangerous game.

‘If the Pompey Supporters’ Trust (PST) community club bid is not ratified next week in court, we are looking at liquidation – it’s that serious.’

Keith Harris put an offer on the table to release the charge on the ground from Balram Chainrai’s company, Portpin.

However, the group would then need to buy the club from the administrators and convince the Football League it should be picked as the new owners.

Mr Brown added: ‘The Football League position is clear.

‘They will only deal with a PST bid and the club needs to be out of administration before the end of the season.

‘They have said this on at least three occasions.

‘If they wanted to deal with Harris, they have had ample opportunity to do so.

‘We have the money waiting in escrow accounts to do this deal.

‘We have exchanged contracts with [administrators] BDO and this time next week Portsmouth FC could finally be liberated from the nightmare four years of Portpin involvement, which has seen the club fall from the Premier League to the brink of the fourth tier.

‘However, if the PST bid fails then the club will almost certainly be liquidated.

‘I am disturbed that Harris, as a football man, is prepared to play Russian roulette with the club.’

A spokesman for Mr Harris previously told The News if the bid was accepted, there would be no further involvement by Portpin or Mr Chainrai.

Pompey’s administrators are meanwhile expected to meet with Portpin in the courts next week for a hearing to set the valuation of Fratton Park.

David Bick, spokesman for Mr Harris, said: ‘The PST is entitled to whatever belief they want.

‘We are not connected to Portpin.

‘Our bid is financially far superior.

‘We know what our funding is and we know it’s the right level to secure the future of the club.

‘We doubt the PST has that.

‘We don’t think it’s very sound, but at the end of the day it’s up to the administrator to decide who to go forward with.

‘With us, there’s no public funds involved, it’s just three individuals.’

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