Portpin advisors to discuss Pompey plans with administrator

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REPRESENTATIVES for Balram Chainrai’s firm Portpin will hold discussions with Pompey’s administrator Trevor Birch over the club’s future.

Terri Mulgrew, of UHY Hacker Young, administrators of the club’s former parent company Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI), told The News the meetings would take place between the two parties following this week’s creditors’ meeting.

Miss Mulgrew, who was involved with UHY’s administration of Pompey in 2010, acted as a representative for CSI at Thursday’s meeting.

She explained why the firm voted against the administrators’ proposals amended by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The proposal, if passed, would have seen an investigation into Pompey’s affairs following a Company Voluntary Arrangement to pay back an agreed percentage of money owed to creditors.

When asked if Mr Chainrai would make good on his promise to secure the club’s future, she said: ‘That’s more of a question for Portpin but their representatives will be in discussions with Trevor (Birch) and they are not willing to let the club go into liquidation.

‘We were happy in general for the administrator’s proposals and we voted for those. It was just the modifications we weren’t aware of and we felt we had it sprung on us.’

She said CSI and Portpin representatives voted against the amendment on advice from a lawyer at UHY Hacker Young, who believes the liquidation of the old company would prolong the transfer of the club’s ‘Golden Share’ in the Football League.

The ‘Golden Share’ is a term given to a share given to all 72 teams in the Football League structure to enable them to play each season.

Miss Mulgrew added: ‘There are obviously a lot of resolutions, in terms of the fees, that have to be approved by the committee.

‘Our sole purpose of coming along to the meeting was to get on the creditors’ committee.’

The creditors’ committee is formed of representatives from Portpin, CSI, the Professional Footballers’ Association, Portsmouth City Football Club, and Ian Fields from Havant-based firm Genisis1.

Mr Chainrai’s brother Deepak said he was not in a position to comment over Portpin’s current position.

Mr Birch said: ‘The amendment not going through doesn’t change anything. It means our original proposals are the ones that have been agreed, so it’s not an issue.

‘This hasn’t changed anything, we will do our best to try and keep the club out of liquidation.’

Football finance expert Dr John Beech, a senior research fellow at Coventry University and life-long Pompey fan, said the return of Balram Chainrai would be ‘adding another chapter to an already long-running saga’. He said: ‘The increasing chances of Balram Chainrai as owner may be in the club’s short-term interests as liquidation and further relegation would be avoided. However, it would simply be adding another chapter to an already long-running saga, as he has made it clear that he would then seek another owner.

‘His choice of words in March is significant, stating that he would become “a reluctant owner again”, until a proper owner can be found.

‘Portsmouth needs a proper owner, and has done, for far too many years. I would see the club’s best long-term interests to be being fan-owned through the Supporters Trust.’