POMPEY’S administrators say they are still waiting for proof that the latest bidder to enter the fray has enough money to buy the club.
The most recent party to make an offer – which The News understands is being fronted by former owner Sulaiman Al Fahim – has lodged a preliminary offer with accountancy firm PKF for £12.5m.
According to the Arabian Business website, which is run by Mr Al Fahim’s friend Anil Bhoyrul, the money has been placed in a Dubai Bank escrow account by ‘Middle East investors’.
It reports the deal seeks to buy the club’s assets, including the ground and player contracts, pay off creditors in full, and repay former players £8.8m over four years.
But administrator Trevor Birch has indicated he requires further evidence that the funds are real – and are in an account in this country – before the bid can progress.
Mr Birch is still expected to decide on Friday whether to proceed with the bid submitted by the Pompey Supporters’ Trust or that of Balram Chainrai’s Portpin.
A spokesman for PKF said: ‘We have asked for clarification of funds before we can push ahead with the new bid.
‘And although we have had contact with those involved no confirmation of funds has been provided yet.’
Yesterday Mr Al Fahim took to Twitter and dropped hints about his involvement when questioned by fans.
Asked directly if he is the one behind the bid he told one: ‘smart question’.
Another who quizzed him over the identity of the person making the offer received the answer ‘a Pompey fan is buying the club’. He also said in the interests of ‘transparency’ the trust would be offered a seat on the board, if the new bidder takes over.
Pompey Supporters’ Trust Spokesman Colin Farmery said despite what any other bidders were doing, the fans’ group still sees itself as the best option.
He said: ‘We are still working hard to ensure our bid is robust and credible.
‘And we will be ready for Trevor Birch’s deadline on Friday. We believe our bid is in the long-term interests of the club.’
Mr Al Fahim was contacted by The News but declined to comment.