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Portpin says supporters trust bid not in best interests of Pompey
Published on Thursday 30 August 2012 18:14
BALRAM Chainrai’s company has said the Pompey Supporters’ Trust does not have the funds to buy the club.
Earlier this week Penny Mordaunt and Mike Hancock urged the Hong Kong businessman’s firm Portpin to accept the trust’s bid to take over Portsmouth FC.
But in a statement the firm wrote: ‘Firstly, Portpin Limited are not selling the club. It is the administrators of the club who are in charge of the sale process.
‘Although an agreement would have to be reached with Portpin to release their security of the club’s assets in order to complete a sale, the PST have to convince the administrators that their bid is the best offer on the table for creditors.
‘In doing so, they also have to convince the Football League that their bid is viable.
‘The PST have failed to do that to date. As such, there are other hurdles that the PST have to get over other than solely an agreement with Portpin over the release of their security.
‘As we have always stated, Portpin are willing to release their security and allow for a sale to take place to any bidder who can prove funds, not only to agree a deal with Portpin but also to fund the club going forward.
‘Portpin do have the club’s best interests at heart and will not agree to a sale to a party who has no ability to fund the club going forward.
‘Portpin have invested a substantial amount of money in the club and should receive a fair value for that investment. But the PST do not have the funds to pay football creditors in full and therefore under Football League rules will be stripped of their share and membership.
‘We simply do not see how this is in the best interests of the club.
‘Portpin are in effect being asked to accept a hugely reduced amount on what they are owed to deliver a sale which would kick the club out of the Football League and without any form of funding to stabilise the club.
‘In short, there are no positives to the PST offer whether from Portpin’s or the club’s view.’
But a spokesman for the trust dismissed Portpin’s comments, insisting that its bid was fully funded and it offered the best chance for sustainable ownership of the club in the long term.
HALL RIGHT NOW: You've got to laugh as Portpin go on the offensive...
Thu 30th Aug 2012 21:58 by Micah Hall
Portpin's response to our MP's at least gave me a good laugh. The key line, in amongst all other worthless, other than for its comedic potential, guff was this: ‘Portpin have invested a substantial amount of money in the club and should receive a fair value for that investment'.
The idea that their risky 'wonga' style loan deserves some kind of sympathy from anyone is simply hilarious. High-risk loans contain a high risk. They took the risk and lost their money. That, my friends, is tough titty. The idea that PKF, players, HMRC and local business should all get stiffed and just take it but Portpin should be treated 'fairly' almost defies belief.
When you make an investment in a business, you bet on the business increasing in value. If it doesn't, you've lost your money. That's why the higher the risk the higher the interest you charge. That's why Spain pay more to borrow than the UK, because you lend Spain money and you stand a much greater chance of only getting half of it back.
Guess what? Pompey didn't increase in value. So a fair return for it is what it is worth. Trevor Birch said this was £3m, and remember he is the one trying to maximise the value for creditors. The club is worth whatever Fratton Park is worth, and according to the District Valuer that is £2.1m. So a fair value, would be about £2.75m - coincidentally what the Trust has offered.
As for the comments about the Football League saying the Trust's bid was not viable, let's remember that Portpin's last statement seven days' ago seemed to claim that their return was at the behest of the PFA, Football League, PCC, PKF, Uncle Tom Cobley and All. It took less than 24 hours for every one of them to categorically deny it to Emma Judd of the News, with Mike Hancock, MP for Portsmouth South, saying: "There is no way that the council have approached Portpin and asked them to come back, not councillors, not officers. Absolutely no way, and I want that made clear."
Simply, if the Football League had said that, Trevor Birch would have no decision to make.
And there's more. Take this: "Portpin do have the club's best interests at heart and will not agree to a sale to a party who has no ability to fund the club going forward."
Errr. Excuse me? Is this the same Portpin who sold to CSI in June 2011, who by November 2011 patently had 'no ability to fund the club going forward' given that the principal shareholder of that company had been arrested on charges of embezzlement in Lithuania. To be fair it should be pointed out Vladimir Antonov denies the charges, but as a picker of 'good buyers' Portpin's track record isn't great. Happily it is Birch who has that call to make this time around.
Portpin are rattled. They know they have no support left to speak of among fans, and are reduced to making claims about support from other organisations that are immediately roundly denied.
They simply need to give it up. If they do take over they will face a wave of hostility from almost everyone connected with Pompey. They will have succeeded only in giving Pompey fans a platform to denounce them at every opportunity.
By their own account, Portpin came to Pompey to make a fast buck and got their fingers burned. Their involvement is simply no longer welcome, and if they really had the interests of the club at heart, they would take the hint and get lost.