The Pompey Supporters Trust yesterday published an open letter to Hong Kong based businessman Balram Chainrai, calling for an independent valuation of Fratton Park, and for Mr Chainrai and his company, Portpin, to allow the PST takeover of Portsmouth Football Club to progress.
Portin is Portsmouth Football Club’s biggest secured creditor, with a charge over Fratton Park, and Portpin withdrew its bid for Pompey earlier this week, leaving PST as the only viable bidder for Pompey.
PST has submitted its bid to the administrators PKF, and hopes to progress the bid and close the deal as soon as possible.
PST spokesperson Colin Farmery commented: “We are ready and willing to move ahead with our purchase of the club. The main obstacle in our way is Mr Chainrai’s valuation of Fratton Park, which is some way away from our own valuation. For us to proceed with a financially viable offer, we need Mr Chainrai and Mr Kushnir to provide us with an independent commercial valuation. Time is of the essence, and we urge Portpin to be realistic.”
The PST bid is a community bid, funded by Pompey fans, with additional finance coming from a loan from Portsmouth City Council.
The letter is as follows:
Dear Mr Chainrai,
We are now entering the last stages of negotiations to secure the future of Portsmouth Football Club.
What happens in the next few days will have a profound impact on everyone who holds Pompey dear to their hearts, as well as the wider football ‘family’.
You will be aware the Pompey Supporters’ Trust has been working tirelessly for months to put together a bid to create the biggest Community Club in Britain.
It is a project on an unprecedented scale, but one which is increasingly both realistic and achieveable. The Trust has a fully costed and funded bid on the table of the Adminstrator. It can make a realistic offer to your company and other creditors which will ensure the club stands a fighting chance of emerging stronger than ever.
If Pompey dies now, the heart of a city dies with it. We will not allow that to happen under any circumstances.
This is not about the past, it is about the future. With your help Portsmouth Football Club can become a beacon for a new order in British football.
You said on Wednesday you no longer wanted to buy the club, and were withdrawing your offer for personal reasons, which we acknowledge and understand but were prepared to help the Trust take over.
In that scenario we now believe that the only stumbling block to the Trust achieving an acceptable deal is the difference over our valuation of the ground.
Therefore we respectfully ask you to provide us with a valuation supported by a least two independent commercial valuers which we will then enable us to consider our position in the hope of responding with an acceptable offer.
In the mean time we will continue to work with Trevor Birch to conclude a deal to purchase the club.
For and behalf of the board and backers of Pompey Supporters Trust