Portsmouth on the brink of liquidation as Chainrai withdraws bid
Former Portsmouth owner Balram Chainrai has withdrawn his takeover bid for the club, blaming “negative fans, administrators’ fees and huge football creditors claims from former players and management”.
Chainrai (pictured) had been expected to complete the deal this week, after the club’s administrator finally cleared all the senior players from the wage bill.
In a statement released to Sky Sports News, Chainrai announced that his company, Portpin Ltd, had withdrawn its interest in the takeover.
"Portpin Ltd regrets to announce that it is withdrawing its bid for Portsmouth Football Club. Unfortunately, our efforts to save the club once more from extinction have hit a wall of rejection and lacking co-operation from the administrator and other interested parties.
"As history has recorded, we sold the club over a year ago after saving it from liquidation and unfortunately found ourselves again fighting to try and save the club from another liquidation.
Negative criticism"Through this administration process over the last six months we have always had the club's best interest in mind – unlike many parties who were involved in the process.
"We repeatedly encouraged the administrator to find a new, willing and able buyer to take over the club – unfortunately he was unsuccessful in this job and couldn't find a buyer despite his promises.
"Later he approached us to be his safety net to save the club as he couldn't find a buyer. We agreed in the effort to avoid liquidation of the club."
The statement then continues to detail several key factors in the decision to withdraw the bid, including “the negative criticism and lack of support for our takeover by the fans of this club...claims from former players and management such as Hughes, Brown, Kanu, and Lampitt... and finally the last straw yesterday afternoon the manager told the press before the season starts that he is sure of another relegation.”
Chainrai continued: “All of these facts have left us in a position that we no longer want to fight this battle, we have zero support to save the club therefore we formally withdraw our bid and our honest attempt at saving the club. We will sleep well knowing we did our utmost to save the club.”
Last chancePortsmouth’s last chance to avoid liquidation, now appears to rest in the hands of the Pompey Supporters Trust, a group that Chainrai was critical of, in his statement but pledged to assist in any takeover of their own.
The Trust welcomed Portpin’s withdrawal and called on Chainrai to do the decent thing and accept the PST offer to purchase his charge on the club and therefore walk away from Pompey.
This would leave the club in the hands of the people, who truly cherish it and ensure that it continues as both a business and a legacy for the future.
Portsmouth were knocked out of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, beaten 3-0 at Plymouth Argyle with manager Michael Appleton having to name a squad full of teenagers.
“SOS Pompey has campaigned for Mr Chainrai to finally leave Pompey and we hope that this latest news could be the light at the end of the tunnel, which ultimately returns the club to the fans.”
The Trust has secured a £1.45m loan from the local council to assist with the takeover but Chainrai claimed in his statement that they “could not raise the funds to satisfy the administrator or the Football League and the loan that was promised them by the council had unrealistic terms.”
Once again, the future of the South Coast club is looking very perilous.
By Andrew Wade
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