POMPEY will become the biggest English fan-owned club in history, after a deal was done today to allow the Pompey Supporters’ Trust to buy Fratton Park.
It was the final stumbling block in the way of the PST’s bid to become the club’s newest owners - a bid the fans have been working on for just over a year.
Today in the High Court it was announced an agreement was reached between Portpin, which holds a financial charge over Fratton Park, and the club’s administrators BDO (formerly PKF).
The charge has meant that Portpin has always had a legal say over how Fratton Park should be disposed of.
In recent months Portpin - a holding company run by Balram Chainrai, Levi Kushnir and Deepak Chainrai - has been holding out for a high sum of money, roughly £10m, in order to claw back some of the money it is owned through Pompey’s two administrations.
But the PST says Fratton Park is worth considerably less than that, and bid £3m for the stadium.
BDO had to go to the High Court to seek permission to sell Fratton Park against Portpin’s wishes, and to get a judgement on how much the stadium should be sold for.
But in an eleventh-hour twist, Portpin and BDO began settlement talks late last night - talks which continued through the night and into the early afternoon of today - and were finally concluded just after 3pm today.
A press statement is due to be made shortly.
The dramatic news followed a delayed start to the court case this morning because the judge Mr Justice Peter Smith needed extra reading time of the papers deposited before the court.
There was a further delay as the court was told there was a chance of a last minute deal between Pompey administrators BDO and former owner Balram Chainrai’s company Portpin.
Don’t miss The News tomorrow for comprehensive coverage of today’s momentous events