On this day: Chainrai poised for dramatic Pompey return

Former Pompey owner Balram Chainrai
Former Pompey owner Balram Chainrai
Pam Wilkins, left, pictured alongside great ally Ken Malley in Braga in 2008. Picture: Steve Reid

Goodbye to heartbeat of Pompey’s fight for survival

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On this day in 2012, The News was reporting how former Pompey owner Balram Chainrai could make a dramatic return to the club and split the Fratton Park fanbase.

Representatives for Mr Chainrai and his firm Portpin gave the strongest indication yet at a creditors’ meeting that the former owner was waiting in the wings to make a reluctant return to Fratton Park.

They said: ‘Portpin and Mr Chainrai have made it clear that he will not let the club go into liquidation.

'It’s got too much of a proud history for that to have to happen.’

Mr Chainrai, who is owed £18.6m, previously stressed the club’s administrator Trevor Birch should only call on him as a last resort to save Pompey.

But on April 26, 2012, Mr Birch said, if necessary, he would go back to Mr Chainrai in his quest to find a new owner.

Representatives for Portpin, including Mr Chainrai’s brother Deepak, and Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI),Pompey’s former parent company, voted against the administrator’s proposals amended by HMRC.

The proposal was for Pompey to exit administration through a CVA, with the liquidation of operating company Portsmouth Football Club Limited (2010), before an HMRC investigation into its affairs.

In Mr Birch’s initial proposal, which was passed, he was looking to find the club a new buyer, bring it out of administration through a CVA, or liquidate the company should this not happen.

Colin Farmery, editor of website True Blue Army, said the return of Mr Chainrai could be ‘damaging’ to the club.

He said: ‘Any prospect of Balram Chainrai coming back would be an unfortunate turn of events because it would split the fan base.

‘There’s some fans out there that think he’s part of the problem and won’t see him supporting the club, but another part of the fans that would want it to survive.

‘It would be damaging.’

Bob Beech, of SOS Pompey, said: ‘If you said to me Balram Chainrai or liquidation, I would take liquidation.

‘Every time he gets to the gates at Frogmore Road Pompey’s problems get worse.

‘Fans need to take their heads out of the sand, he’s not the saviour.’