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SBD Global/November 16, 2012/Franchises

Supporters' Trust Poised To Take Over League One Club Portsmouth FC

The Portsmouth Supporters’ Trust Wednesday said it could "see light at the end of the tunnel" after it signed a conditional deal to buy the League One club Portsmouth FC from administrator Trevor Birch, according to Ashling O'Connor of the LONDON TIMES. The sale to the supporter-led consortium "is dependent on a successful court application to force Portpin, the investment vehicle for Balram Chainrai, the former owner, to sell Fratton Park." Portpin, the club’s largest creditor, "has previously rejected a £2.75M ($4.4M) offer from the trust, which is said to be based on an independent valuation." Chainrai is thought to "value the ground in the region of £10M ($15.9M)" (LONDON TIMES, 11/15).

BEGINNING OF THE END: In London, Owen Gibson wrote PST Chair Ashley Brown said he was "thrilled and proud" that it had reached an agreement with accounting firm PKF, while Birch said he was hopeful that it marked "the beginning of the end of the process." It will be for a court to decide "whether the administrator can take control of the sale process and to decide whether PTS' offer represents fair value." Birch is hopeful a court date can be set before Dec. 21, "allowing the club to go into the new year in the hands of the supporters trust" (GUARDIAN, 11/15). REUTERS' Keith Weir reported Portpin is "owed £17M ($27M) by the club, secured against the stadium." The PST "is believed to have offered around £2.75M for the ground." PST spokesperson Colin Farmery said that about 2,000 Portsmouth fans "had pledged £2M ($3.2M) to help fund the takeover." He added that the trust "would now start to collect funds and look to other fans to back the deal." Portpin said that "it was still interested in buying the club should the PST bid fail for any reason" (REUTERS, 11/15).
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