One year on - McInnes lauds Trevor Birch role in Pompey survival

Former administrator Trevor Birch
Former administrator Trevor Birch

POMPEY should erect a statue at Fratton Park to mark to Trevor Birch’s contribution to the club.

Typically, a tongue-in-cheek remark from Iain McInnes.

But the humour is driven by genuine respect for the club’s ex-administrator.

BDO (formerly PKF) spent 427 days running the Blues, having been appointed by the courts ahead of Andrew Andronikou’s UHY Hacker Young on February 17, 2012.

Both Portpin and Keith Harris’ consortium failed to convince the Football League during that time that they were suitable owners, before the Pompey Supporters’ Trust brokered an out-of-court deal a year today.

Despite being initially wary the Trust could fund a realistic bid and on occasions overruled by others at BDO, Birch retained the belief it was the best offer for creditors.

As a result, his relationship with Portpin was largely bitter.

Regardless, Birch remains highly respected at Fratton and his role has be lauded by Pompey chairman McInnes.

He said: ‘Trevor is tungsten-tipped, was hugely compromised by the opposition on far too many occasions and is a top bloke.

‘I love him to death.

‘I don’t think he will ever tell what really went on because that’s the kind of guy he is.

‘He won’t reveal exactly what the pressures were exerted on him – some of which probably ought to have been almost subject to police enquiry.

‘Certainly talking to his colleagues at the company at the time, he had to put up with a lot.

‘We owe so much to that man it’s not true, we should erect some kind of statue!

‘He did his professional job, totally within a professional remit and absolutely refused to be bullied in any way, shape or form, compromised or even biased other than he was determined to do what was right.

‘If in his own mind he felt what was right was for us to get the club, then he did what was professionally in his means to do that.

‘At this club he steered a steady line and was absolutely completely committed to getting it right for the football club – and he would have gone with another buyer if they had been right because that is what his job was.’

Birch is currently involved in the administration at Hearts in Scotland.

Earlier this week he was in Lithuania in negotiations with the club’s 29-per-cent stake-holders Ukio Bankas.

And McInnes insisted there would always be a warm welcome for him at Fratton.

He added: ‘I still speak to Trevor not regularly enough, and he is not able to see us regularly enough, but he is always welcome.

‘He’s a charming man, although I hear from Shrewsbury he was a rubbish footballer and he won’t thank me for that!

‘Let’s hope we never need the likes of him again – but I’ll tell you what, we owe him a lot and that is speaking from the heart.’