New Twist In Takeover Of League One Side Portsmouth; High Court Grants Hearing
League One side Portsmouth's future will be resolved by April 19 after the high court "granted an order for the club's case to be heard, but the ownership saga could yet take another twist after it was claimed Football League has 'softened' its stance" toward another bidder, according to James Riach of the London GUARDIAN. The administrators for Portsmouth, PKF, informed Justice Sales that "correspondence has been exchanged between the Football League and Portpin, which seems to lead to some ambiguity with the League's previous statements that no other bid would be considered at this late stage." Portpin, the former owners of the club led by Balram Chainrai, are battling against the PST, which is "attempting to force a sale of the club through the court." The valuation of the stadium "will be decided in court by April 19, when PST hopes to secure a landmark takeover, but matters could yet be complicated by a rival" bid from football financier Keith Harris (GUARDIAN, 2/21). In London, Ben Rumsby reported this week "marked the first anniversary of Portsmouth's latest plunge into administration." The club faces being kicked out of the League if it is not solvent before next season's fixtures are compiled. A Football League spokesperson said: "As stated after its most recent meeting, the Board of The Football League is not considering alternative applications for the transfer of Portsmouth's share in The Football League. Instead, it remains focused on a successful transfer of share to the preferred bidder, the Pompey Supporters Trust" (TELEGRAPH, 2/21).