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Dec 10, 2012

Pompey future hinges on Fratton decision

The Football League board has said that the Portsmouth Supporters' Trust (PST) proposal to buy the financially-stricken South Coast club has "significant merit".

However, the board warned that two issues would have to be resolved before the proposal could be fully considered.

These are the future of League One Pompey's Fratton Park ground and the trust's ability to raise the full amount of funding from fans anticipated in its business plan.

Fratton Park is controlled by former Portsmouth owner Balram Chainrai's Portpin company, the largest creditor in the administration process.

Portpin is owed around £12 million by the club, which has debts of more than £60 million, and the company holds a fixed charge over Fratton as security.

That means administrators PKF have had to apply for a court hearing - scheduled to conclude later this week - to determine whether permission can be gained for the ground to be sold at the market rate.

The supporters' trust has already offered Chainrai £2.75 million, but he has turned that offer down.

The Football League statement also confirmed that Portsmouth would be deducted ten points when they exited administration.

"The board also confirmed that ongoing membership of the league would be subject to a number of conditions that seek to ensure the sporting integrity of league football and the financial viability of the club going forward," it said.

"It therefore reaffirmed its earlier decision that these conditions would include a deduction of 10 points, applicable at the point of transfer of share, and a range of other restrictions on playing budgets and future borrowing for the next four seasons."

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