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Dec 14, 2012

Portsmouth hearing delayed until January

Portsmouth's administrators have said the situation at the financially-stricken club is "complicated" after a crucial court hearing into the club's Fratton Park ground was delayed.

Administrators PKF said they were assessing their options, and the hearing, at the High Court in London, could now take place before or on January 15.

PKF are in discussions with representatives of the club's former owner Balram Chainrai, whose Portpin company is owed around £12 million and holds a fixed charge over Fratton Park 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. That is vital to the Portsmouth Supporters' Trust (PST) plan to take over the League One club.

The trust has offered £2.75 million for Fratton Park - an offer that has been turned down.

On Thursday another party, P&A Partnership, claimed Portpin wanted it, not PKF, to manage the club's finances until a buyer was found.

Brendan Guilfoyle, of P&A, said Portpin was unhappy with parts of the way in which PKF had been handling matters on the South Coast and could shut Pompey down if it did not secure a change of administrator.

"If I am appointed, I am confident that we can find a buyer to secure the long-term future of this historic and important club,'' Guilfoyle said.

Addressing Justice Sales in London, Katharine Holland, for PKF, said: "This is not a straightforward matter."

If PKF and Portpin are unable to come to agreement, the hearing will begin on January 15. Mr Justice Sales did not agree to Portpin's request for a new administrator, and a Trust spokesman told the Portsmouth News: "It buys us a bit of time. It is a long road to get this far - an extra day or month to get the right result is well spent."

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