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SBD Global/August 16, 2012/Franchises

Hong Kong Businessman Withdraws Bid For Portsmouth FC, Leaving Future In Doubt

Hong Kong businessman Balu Chainrai has confirmed he is "withdrawing his bid" to buy League One Portsmouth FC, "leaving the troubled club in danger of liquidation," according to SKY SPORTS. Chainrai will not be going ahead with a takeover "after citing a number of reasons for withdrawing his interest." Chainrai released a statement to Sky Sports News which read: "Portpin Ltd. regrets to announce that it is withdrawing its bid for Portsmouth Football Club. Unfortunately, our efforts to save the club once more from extinction have hit a wall of rejection and lacking co-operation from the administrator and other interested parties." One of the reasons cited in the statement was "lack of support." Chainrai wrote, "At this moment in time, we feel that: The negative criticism and lack of support for our takeover by the fans of this club; the fact that the administrators do not want to compromise on their unrealistic fees; the fact that suddenly the club has received additional huge football creditors' claims from former players and management such as Hughes, Brown, Kanu, and Lampitt and more; the fact that the Football League has decided to deduct 10 points for no reasonable reason and by its decisions didn't show any willingness to help in saving this troubled club" (SKY SPORTS, 8/15).

LAST CHANCE: The London GUARDIAN reported that the club's "last chance of survival appears to be an alternative bid" by the fans group Pompey Supporters Trust. The trust, which has the backing of a £1.45M ($2.3M) loan from the council, reacted positively to the news of Chainrai's withdrawal, calling it potentially "the light at the end of the tunnel." A trust statement read: "We call on Mr. Chainrai to do the decent thing and accept the PST offer to purchase his charge on the club, and therefore walk away from Pompey, regaining some of the money he has lost, and leaving the club in the hands of the people who will truly cherish it and ensure that it continues as both a business and a legacy for the future" (GUARDIAN, 8/15).
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