The real Great Escape is just beginning

Balram Chainrai could be back on the scene at Pompey
Balram Chainrai could be back on the scene at Pompey
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1 Southend 0: They said what

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Pompey fans have been singing about going on a League One tour.

A colleague at The News this week pointed out that chant is a tad presumptuous at the moment.

Maybe we should be going on about touring the Blue Square leagues instead for the time being.

Because there’s little doubt the spectre of liquidation is one which still looms over Fratton Park.

And we are now careering into the critical period in deciding just where we will, hopefully, be touring next season.

The well that for many years has had siphons draining the club’s resources left, right and centre has now been plugged.

But it’s of little surprise to see little water left sloshing around – and next month it will be bone dry.

Administrator Trevor Birch is doing everything he can to replenish levels, and things may be developing on that front in the next couple of days.

Players are being spoken to about their contracts and Scott Allan is set to return to West Brom ahead of the trip to Nottingham Forest.

All the while, though, the Football League’s AGM looms large as Pompey’s royal blue letter day on June 2.

That’s when it will be decided if the Blues can fulfil their fixtures in the English game’s third tier next season.

Birch has already made it clear the league meeting is when things will come to a head, the date by which the club’s fate will be decided, if you like.

All the while, the misguided notion something will turn up in terms of ownership continues to germinate among some sections of support.

Birch has intimated there are two interested parties keen to buy the club outside of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust.

The word on that front is one of the parties is limping forward in terms of progress, while the other is going in the other direction.

That leaves the Trust, who are continuing in their efforts to generate funds for a potential buyout through their community share scheme.

All the noise is that they are further ahead of the other groups as they diligently go about their business of ensuring there is a future for Portsmouth Football Club.

Then there is the spectre of Balram Chainrai’s debt, now pinned at £18.6m, which hangs over club.

The thought of his return remains about as popular with supporters as a Sepp Blatter/Michel Platini link-up at the FA.

It’s a realistic one, however, but the likelihood is the club would then be sent into a state of flux with Chainrai looking to get back money he had put into the club.

Tomorrow’s creditors’ meeting at Fratton Park will see cards laid on the table from the likes of Chainrai, as Pompey look to achieve a route out of administration.

It marks the start of a critical five-week period which will decide where this proud club is headed.

Pompey’s fate on the pitch was decided on Saturday – but the real Great Escape bid is only just starting.