SBD Global/April 11, 2013/FranchisesPrint All
League One side Portsmouth is "set to become the biggest supporter-owned club in England" after administrators Tuesday secured its home ground from former Owner Balram Chainrai, according to Ashling O'Connor of the LONDON TIMES. The Hong Kong-based businessman "agreed a settlement before a High Court judge could rule whether or not Portpin, his investment vehicle, should be forced to sell Fratton Park to the Portsmouth Supporters’ Trust." The out-of-court settlement includes the sale of the stadium for £3M ($4.6M), "which was the PST’s valuation, plus a six-figure sum to cover Portpin’s legal costs." There were "scenes of high emotion in Court 30 after multiple adjournments throughout the day while lawyers raced to complete the eleventh-hour agreement" before Justice Peter Smith began calling witnesses. The breakthrough finally came at just before 3:30pm, "ending months of legal wrangling." In response, the lights went out as Toby de Mellow, 23, a law student, fell back against the switch. He said, "It’s overwhelming. It’s finally at an end." As the judge departed to cheers, club Chair Ian McInnes "doled out generous bear hugs." He saved the biggest for Trevor Birch, the teary-eyed co-administrator, "promising him a week’s free holiday on his yacht in the Caribbean" (LONDON TIMES, 4/10).
League One side Bury FC has "issued a desperate plea for investment," saying it needs a loan of £1M ($1.5M) to stave off financial disaster, according to Sarah Ebner of the LONDON TIMES. The 127-year-old club is currently at the bottom of League One, with just 34 points in 42 games. They are "under a transfer embargo," imposed by the Football League, after accepting a loan from the Professional Football Association. In a boardroom statement, they admit to having “financial difficulties all season” (LONDON TIMES, 4/10). Bury Chair Brain Fenton said, "The club desperately needs £1 million of external investment to secure the long-term future of the club. Without this investment the club will cease to trade and there will be no more professional football played at Gigg Lane" (LANCASHIRE NEWS, 4/10). Fenton said that the club is "looking for 10 investors" to each put in £100,000 ($153,000) to save the club (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 4/10).