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What is the stumbling block then?

What is the stumbling block then?

Pompey administrator Trevor Birch, in his interview with BBC Sport today, says that he cannot understand the 'dislike' towards Balram Chainrai.

Nor does he feel that the money 'owed' to him (some £14m-£29m depending on where you read it or what you are told is the potential amount with interest incurred on his initial 'input') is a 'stumbling block' to us finding a new owner...

If Birch can clarify once and for all exactly what Chainrai's investment of funds was used for and where the money so quickly disappeared to then that would be a decent starting point, right?

Can Birch also explain that if the money that Chainrai wants back is not the 'stumbling block' for any would be owner then what exactly is the stumbling block then?

Wages are high, way too high, I get this but can that really be the main issue putting people off first and foremost?

I appreciate that an unsustainable wage bill, some £12.5m per year, will do little to encourage an owner to come in so if letting every bugger go and us almost starting again by scratching around to bring in players on a wages of £2,500-£4,000 per week - if that is a realistic amount in football these days, which I am not sure it is? - enables us the chance to survive so be it!

I will quite happily, as soul destroying and heartbreaking as it is to see the club continually decimated, accept this entire squad as we know it now moving on and being replaced by players on wages that give us a sustainable future, whatever level it sees us playing at!

If that is enough to keep the club afloat then it is a no-brainer!

First and foremost if only it was that easy eh...but surely it is not as simple as that though, is it?!

I am totally puzzled by Birch's latest thoughts I have to say.

If debts of some £20m or so, at least, to former owners (and that is owners alone - forgetting debts on the existing CVA and whatever is agreed on a new CVA to get us out of admin) are not the 'stumbling block' then what exactly the hell is?

An unsustainable, yet seemingly rapidly reducing, wage bill (which like I say if it is the answer to keep doing this then needs must we keep doing that but I remain unconvinced that is it the main factor) cannot be that major stumbling block surely...


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Date:Wednesday March 14 2012
Time: 2:57PM


I'm not sure TB is in any position to determine where Chanrai's original loan went to - that was under previous owners and I've no doubt disappeared into a big black hole (wether within the club or outside). I would however think that these legacy debts would be off putting to a new owner, along with the wage bill for next season. As you've said I don't think you can underestimate the impact of those wages, until we can unload TBH and several others we have a massive weight around our shoulders dragging us down. PUP.
14/03/2012 15:22:00
It's easy for TB to talk about high wage bills, chanrai's debt etc etc as he is in the know. Until such time as he explains these then he'll be open to critique and rightly so. After all the club will have to pay his fees at some point. On the wage bill front, it would be interesting to see what type of squad he is basing next years wage roll on. Those on loan are not likely to come back, some contracts will expire, some may retire, some will actually not want to play in League 1 if we survive. When you take out those above I'm not sure it leaves many players. It would also be good for him to explain what he feels is a satisfactory wage bill for a League 1 club.
14/03/2012 16:46:00
If Clever Trevor can't state what the stumbling blocks are then he shouldn't say what they are not. That just creates unrest and unhelpful speculation & comment. Am I right in thinking that, like me, this is the prioritised list of needs: 1st, we need a club in any (FL preferably) division. 2nd, we need 18+ players that can play football. 3rd, we need an owner who wants to be an owner and will address the debt and various ownership issues. Now is that too much to ask? Now is there a correlation between the division we are in and the 'debt' the previous owners will try to suck out of us? If so, what is the optimum division we need to fall too, to manage the debts comfortably?
14/03/2012 17:06:00
Why are we now ganging up on TB? Are we always going to sling mud at someone? Maybe he can't tell us some things, but is trying to be transparent as possible. Why say anything? Well because so many people keep asking maybe?
14/03/2012 17:42:00
personally i am not trying to knock, or slag off, TB to much - i appreciate that he had a job to do, which is to get the creditors as much money as he can right?
i am just surprised that he doesnt think that secured creditors, the likes of BC, are not the 'stumbling block' to a potential sale...
the wage bill, which is dropping to help, cannot be helping but surely if £20m or so is secured to former owners that has to be a HUGE stumbling block?
14/03/2012 17:49:00
the club has hemorrhaged money for years. there's been a total lack of investment in the club, the ground and no effort to put the club on a firm business foundation. Anyone wanting to takeover will need to spend far more than BC is owed and wait a considerable time before they see any sort of return. That is the major stumbling block. BC's debt is relatively small compared to the investment required to put Pompey back on a sound footing.
Steve C
14/03/2012 19:11:00
very good point Steve, couple that with the money needing to be 'written off' it makes the chances of our being saved less likely right?
i have often mentioned that something like £50m-£100m needs to be, just that, 'written off' but who will do this??
as every i remain hopeful someone comes in but i cannot say i am optimistic that they will...
14/03/2012 19:56:00
I'm fine with Clev Trev, Midge, but if he's not allowed to be transparent, and he's patently not, then he should be opaque. I bet the reviled (I'm have a soft spot for him) Peter Storrie could shed some light these days but as everyone p1$$ed him off he's unlikely to say, is he. Be interesting though . . . . .
14/03/2012 20:46:00
Its a real possibility that no one will come in and buy the club and it will be liquidated. Maybe between the lines TB is hinting at that, by saying FP does not fall into BC's hands. this is a good article and has a differant approach, and may have caused TB interview. A secured loan has to be secured against something-but what.
plymouth graham
14/03/2012 20:47:00
I don't think anyone with a brain ever did think Chan was the issue surely- and I've never read chan claiming anything other than £14-17 m; although I have seem some muppet reporting. The issue is the clubs debts outweigh its income for the next 2 or 3 years. As admirably put by Brian Howe ( the non rock god) whomever takes on the club for an offer of say 0.001p then immediately ends up £30,000,001 in debt . With insufficient income and too many basic costs to get that money back. The issue is clear no one wants to buy a club that needs a new stadium or regeneration of the stadium at anything from £20m -£ 100m when the club gets probably not much more than 14k attendances.
15/03/2012 11:29:00
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