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Jul 31, 2012

Supporters Trust still in the running

Portsmouth administrator Trevor Birch says there is still the possibility that the Pompey Supporters Trust could buy the club.

• Pompey want swift Kanu ruling

Portsmouth are still desperately trying to stave off the threat of liquidation as the League One season draws ever nearer, and Balram Chainrai, the most likely buyer through his Portpin company, has said his takeover bid is dependent on the club removing its high earners from the payroll. Tal Ben Haim, Dave Kitson and Liam Lawrence are all still on the books.

Should Chainrai back away from the deal, the Pompey Supporters Trust aims to make a last-ditch bid to rescue the club.

Asked about the status of the group's bid, Birch told ESPN: "It's still there, and shouldn't be discounted as they have some influential people involved. However, we are still working toward the offer on the table from Portpin as opposed to a counter offer from the Supporters Trust."

There has been a suggestion that the best option for Portsmouth might be to go into liquidation and then attempt to work their way back into the Football League as a new company.

However, Birch has warned that it could take the best part of two decades for a new club to reach League Two and strongly believes a takeover is the best option.

"It took Aldershot 17 years to get back into the Football League, and that could happen to Pompey as you don't know just how far down the pyramid they may be forced to drop, so it's not quite so clear cut as going out of business and then starting afresh," Birch said.

"You really don't know where you would end up in the footballing pyramid and that is the frightening prospect if this club goes out of business in a couple of weeks.

"It might sound good to drop into the Conference then fight back quickly into the League, but the Conference might not be so keen - they won't just guarantee Pompey a place because it would be like turkeys voting for Christmas with their clubs wanting to get into the League and not wanting a club like Pompey to take one of their places.

"It may well be that the Football League rules mean that Pompey would have to drop at least three leagues - at least three leagues - so the best option is to save the club from going under and that is what I am trying to do in the limited time we have left to do it. I am working hard at trying to save the club and while there is still a chance we shall not give up on Portsmouth."

Birch had earlier revealed to ESPN that he had served notice on all players and staff two weeks ago that the club will shut down on August 10 unless the issues revolving around high earners such as Kanu and Tal Ben Haim, owed £6 million between them, are resolved. As yet, a solution has not been found.

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