Trust appeals to Chainrai to do a deal over Pompey

Enda Stevens. Picture: Joe Pepler

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FANS trying to buy Pompey have appealed to Balram Chainrai to help them save the club.

In an open letter to the former owner the Pompey Supporters’ Trust urged him to negotiate with them over the value of Fratton Park.

The trust is now the only remaining bidder for Portsmouth FC after the Hong Kong businessman pulled out on Wednesday.

Yesterday administrator Trevor Birch said he hopes the fans group will have their offer ready by Friday next week, but added that it still has to be approved by the Football League.

There have also been concerns raised by the council, which agreed to provide a bridging loan of £1.45m to the trust last week, that new deals will have to be negotiated with former players.

This again raises the spectre of high-earners like Tal Ben Haim and Kanu holding the club to ransom.

In its letter the trust acknowledges Pompeys precarious position, but insists it can achieve its goal of taking over.

It wrote: ‘We are now entering the last stages of negotiations to secure the future of Portsmouth Football Club.

‘What happens in the next few days will have a profound impact on everyone who holds Pompey dear to their hearts, as well as the wider football ‘family’.

‘You will be aware the Pompey Supporters’ Trust has been working tirelessly for months to put together a bid to create the biggest Community Club in Britain.

‘It is a project on an unprecedented scale, but one which is increasingly both realistic and achieveable. The trust has a fully costed and funded bid on the table of the adminstrator.

‘It can make a realistic offer to your company and other creditors which will ensure the club stands a fighting chance of emerging stronger than ever.

‘If Pompey dies now, the heart of a city dies with it. We will not allow that to happen under any circumstances.

‘This is not about the past, it is about the future. With your help Portsmouth Football Club can become a beacon for a new order in British football.

‘You said on Wednesday you no longer wanted to buy the club, and were withdrawing your offer for personal reasons, which we acknowledge and understand but were prepared to help the trust take over.

‘In that scenario we now believe that the only stumbling block to the trust achieving and acceptable deal is the difference over our valuation of the ground.

‘Therefore we respectfully ask you to provide us with a valuation supported by a least two independent commercial valuers which we will then enable us to consider our position in the hope of responding with an acceptable offer.

‘In the mean time we will continue to work with Trevor Birch to conclude a deal to purchase the club.’

Mr Birch said the Football League would also have to see the trust’s bid and it would have to satisfy football creditors, such as the players who are owed money.

They will need to go back to the Football League with a business plan that is acceptable, added Birch.

The compromise agreements also need to be revisited and we need to look at the trust plan and see what can now be paid to the football creditors.

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