Pompey fans’ legal team questions Portpin suitability

TALKS Administrator Trevor Birch, with Bob Beech from SOS Pompey and Mick Williams of the Pompey Supporters' Trust. Picture: Allan Hutchings (120615-517)
TALKS Administrator Trevor Birch, with Bob Beech from SOS Pompey and Mick Williams of the Pompey Supporters' Trust. Picture: Allan Hutchings (120615-517)
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FANS seeking control of Pompey have sent a letter to the Football League questioning Portpin’s suitability as fit and proper owners.

It comes as members of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust say they have learned administrators PKF have a preference for Balram Chainrai taking the Fratton Park reins again.

But the trust says guidance in the Football League’s rules and regulations should rule Portpin out of passing the owners and directors’ test.

They say Portpin has twice put Pompey into administration, thereby contravening Football League ownership regulations.

The letter – issued by the trust’s lawyers – outlines such conditions that could disqualify potential new owners from the process.

The rules say a potential buyer would be disqualified from the test if they have been a club director of ‘one football club that has been subject to or suffered two unconnected insolvency events, on or after June 11, 2004.’

Portpin put Pompey into administration in February 2010 before bringing the club out of administration in October 2010.

When Convers Sports Initiatives went into administration in November 2011, its assets went to Portpin.

Pompey were subsequently put into administration again in February this year.

Some Pompey fans have also been expressing their views on Portpin by inundating the Football League directly with e-mails.

Trust spokesman Colin Farmery said: ‘We recognise that Portpin is there as a rival bid to us and we have made representations to the Football League if they do emerge as PKF’s preferred bidder.

‘The rules are open to interpretation – but we at least think there’s a legal case to answer.’

Some trust sources say Portpin is administrator Trevor Birch’s preferred bidder.

But Mr Farmery says the trust has yet to hear from PKF since last week and adds there is nothing official to suggest Portpin has been made preferred bidders over the Trust.

A Football League spokesman said: ‘We are currently in discussions with the administrator regarding the bids that have been tabled and whether they will meet the Football League’s requirements, including the terms of the Owners’ and Directors’ Test.

‘The next stage remains for the administrator to select his preferred bid for the league board to consider formally.’