New administrator has the future of Pompey in his hands

David Lampitt at the High Court for the Portsmouth FC Admistration hearing with right Administrator Trevor Birch
David Lampitt at the High Court for the Portsmouth FC Admistration hearing with right Administrator Trevor Birch

Portsmouth station closes as part of bridge maintenance work

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POMPEY’s new administrator is urging fans to keep the faith as he promises to keep them involved.

Trevor Birch, of accountancy firm Pannell Kerr Forster, has been appointed administrator of the club along with partners Ian Gould and Bryan Jackson.

It marks the second time in two years that Pompey has entered administration.

Speaking after yesterday’s hearing, held at London’s High Court, Mr Birch urged fans to keep the faith.

Ex-professional footballer Mr Birch, 54, – who has held chief executive posts at Chelsea, Derby County, Leeds United, Everton and Sheffield United – later met with staff at Fratton Park.

Speaking to The News about being appointed administrator, Mr Birch said: ‘I’m happy to be able to play small part in saving a great club.

‘I get a feeling fans felt they have been a little bit excluded.

‘One of my first actions will be to include them and get a forum next week and to meet with representatives of Pompey Supporters’ Trust and whatever recognised groups there are.

‘The more people I see the more we get the message out that we need continued support in order to try and give this club a sustainable, long-term future.

‘For too long it’s had too much instability and things around the club need to die down and be a lot calmer.’

The club was last night deducted 10 points by the Football League, leaving them above the relegation zone on goal difference.

Mr Birch says there is plenty to do to sort the club out, but he’s positive about Pompey’s future.

‘Hard work lies ahead,’ said Mr Birch.

‘This is a football-mad city and I have great empathy because I understand football from the boot room to the board room.

‘I’m very positive and I have got a good feeling about this.’

Insolvency expert Andrew Watling, of Begbies Traynor in North Harbour, said UHY Hacker Young will now have no more involvement in the running of the club.

He said: ‘UHY is the administrator of Convers Sports Initiatives and it’s owed £10.5m by the club, but they will have no more say than any other creditor.’

Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock also welcomed the news – he and his colleagues from Portsmouth City Council wrote to the High Court as creditors to ask another firm be appointed administrator.

He said: ‘We hope these people will work very closely with the supporters and the current management.’

Meanwhile, in his summing up at Pompey’s administration hearing, Mr Justice Alastair Norris said Pompey’s original creditors, from the 2010 administration are more likely to get 10p for every £1 they are owed rather than the 20p agreed by UHY.

‘But that is not a final figure,’ he added.