Administrator meets with Chainrai over Pompey’s future

Balram Chainrai
Balram Chainrai
Jamal Lowe celebrates his goal against Scunthorpe. Picture: Joe Pepler

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POMPEY’S administrator Trevor Birch today met with Balram Chainrai for talks over the future of the club.

Mr Chainrai is on the verge of again becoming Pompey’s ‘reluctant owner’ as he bids to protect the £17m he would stand to lose if club folded.

In a statement Mr Birch said: ‘I’m continuing to work on plugging the funding gap to get us to the end of the season and also working on the cost structure, primarily player costs, for next year in order to reduce ongoing losses and attract potential purchasers.

‘As part of that process I have had initial discussions with Balu Chainrai of Portpin, in his role as a major creditor of the club. It is my duty to explore all possible avenues to try to save the club as a going concern.’

Speaking about yesterday’s game, Mr Birch’s statement went on: ‘Once again I have been overwhelmed by the support for this great club. Walking around the ground before the game on Saturday I met matchday staff, stewards, catering staff, stadium officials and other stalwarts of the club who, without exception, offered the club their unconditional support.

‘They told me that they would work for nothing to keep this special club alive. It was a humbling experience and further strengthened my resolve to find a successful solution.

‘The response from the fans again was unbelievable. When we went a goal behind and the crowd rose to lift the players, it was a truly emotional experience. I felt desperately sad for Michael and the players who gave everything to salvage something from the game.

‘For the next home game, we will extend the ‘Sun’ offer to everyone who hasn’t yet bought a ticket and we’ll look at other options too. I’ve asked our ticket office manager, Elaine, to work with representatives from the supporters groups to study any innovative ideas that they have for ticket sales.

‘I’ve also asked the executive group to form working groups of supporter representatives on five other function lines: merchandising, matchday experience, corporate hospitality, website, and communications. Johnny Moore, our supporter liaison officer, is in the process of facilitating this.

‘I apologise too to those fans who tried to buy tickets at the ticket office windows which were closed. This will not happen at the next game.’