Portpin says its bid to buy Pompey is waiting in the wings

CHALLENGE Balram Chainrai
CHALLENGE Balram Chainrai
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Clark Robertson scores Blackpool's second goal in their 2-0 win against Pompey Picture: Joe Pepler

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PORTPIN is insisting it is still committed to owning Portsmouth Football Club once again.

The firm, an investment company backed by Balram Chainrai, Levi Kushnir and Deepak Chainrai, owned Pompey when the club last came out of administration in 2010, before selling it to Convers Sports Initiatives.

As reported in The News last week, Portpin suspended its bid, saying Pompey’s current administrators PKF had chosen the wrong group to be preferred bidders.

It said its bid was more viable than that of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust which, as reported in today’s News, has signed a conditional agreement to become the club’s new owners.

In a statement, Portpin said: ‘We still believe our bid remains the best offer for the future of Portsmouth Football Club.

‘We remain ready to complete the deal in a matter of days, should the Trust be unsuccessful.

‘That is our intention, and despite ill-informed gossip to the contrary, the Football League have not rejected our application. ‘We have satisfied the Football League regarding our business plan and cash requirements and we have answered all other questions regarding the Owners and Directors’ test.’

Portpin said it remained concerned about a plan which sees property developer Stuart Robinson buy Fratton Park from Portpin and lease it back to the trust.

Portpin holds a legal charge over the stadium, which means it has a say in how and to whom it is sold - though the trust will be heading to court to challenge that.

The statement continued: ‘We believe that keeping Fratton Park under the ownership of the club – which our bid guarantees – is of paramount importance to the future of Portsmouth Football Club if it is to remain at the heart of the community.’

A spokesman for Portpin said the firm’s bid remains suspended, but the firm wanted it to be made clear it is waiting in the wings to take over should the trust’s bid fail.