Pompey`s date with destiny fixed
A date has been fixed for what will hopefully be Pompey`s final appearance in the High Court.
The following statement has been released by Trevor Birch, PKF partner and joint administrator of Portsmouth Football Club.
"We can confirm that the hearing to determine the proposed sale of Fratton Park has been scheduled for December 13 and 14 in the High Court in London. This hearing is critical in deciding the future of Portsmouth Football Club: If the court agrees with the sale value of Fratton Park, we can sell the club as a going concern to the PST; if we lose, liquidation will become the most likely option.
"This Court case is the culmination of months of hard work behind the scenes in trying to resolve the complex issues which this administration has posed. We will continue to work closely with the PST to finalise our case."
Ashley Brown, Chairman of the Pompey Supporters` Trust welcomed the news. He urged fans who have pledged or who are considering buying shares to do so before the hearing date.
'It is a relief to know we will have some certainty sooner rather than later,` said Ashley. 'Our understanding is the matter will be resolved at this hearing as there is unlikely to be any grounds for any appeal. If all goes according to plan, and our legal advisors say we have a strong case, we will take control of Portsmouth FC shortly afterwards and the process of rebuilding our club can begin.
'That is why we are urging fans to fulfil their pledges or purchase shares by that date. The more working capital we can raise quickly, the more control we will have over the situation and the quicker we can get going with our plans. We are very encouraged by the initial response to the share offer. There is a steady stream of pledges and new purchases of shares arriving hourly; so many that we haven`t been able to count them yet.
'However fans can`t relax. This share offer needs to be a success or else there is a significant chance the club will be liquidated. There is no alternative offer on the table, so we have to make this work,` he added.
In a nutshell the Trust has offered in the region of £2.75m for the ground and have five independent valuations to show that is more than a reasonable bid. Portpin will argue they are owed a sum of between £10-18m for the stadium and they want to recoup their debt.
The judge will then decide at what value the administrator should sell the asset which is probably why the Trust`s advisors believe there will be no grounds for appeal. He judges decisions will effectively force Balram Chainrai to release his charge on the property.
Let`s all hope this can be settled on the days provided and give every Pompey fan an early Christmas present. On the other hand the pessimists will point to the hearing date as the 13th - at least it is not a Friday though.
Trust in the Trust