Portpin - PST bid not viable

Portpin respond to open letter from Portsmouth MPs

Balram Chainrai: The Hong Kong businessman remains Portsmouth's biggest creditor

Portpin Ltd has responded to an open letter from Portsmouth MPs Penny Mordaunt and Mike Hancock urging support of the Portsmouth Supporters Trust's (PST) bid to buy the club.

Backed by a loan from the local council, the fans' group want to buy the League One outfit, who remain in administration and in danger of liquidation.

The two Portsmouth MPs had written to Balram Chainrai and Levi Kushiner of Portpin asking them to accept an offer from PST to them.

But Portpin, which has re-entered the running to buy back the club and is also a creditor, insist they cannot take the PST offer as a 'viable bid' at present.

Portpin say while they fully understand the good intentions behind the PST bid, there are a number of issues that first need to be clarified 'which do not appear to have been set out in your (the MPs) email.'

Portpin add: "Firstly, Portpin Limited are not selling the club. It is the administrators of the club who are in charge of the sale process.

"Although an agreement would have to be reached with Portpin to release their security of the club's assets in order to complete a sale, the PST have to convince the administrators that their bid is the best offer on the table for creditors.

Failed

"In doing so, they also have to convince The Football League that their bid is viable. The PST have failed to do that to date. As such, there are other hurdles that the PST have to get over other than solely an agreement with Portpin over the release of their security.

"As we have always stated, Portpin are willing to release their security and allow for a sale to take place to any bidder who can prove funds, not only to agree a deal with Portpin but also to fund the club going forward.

"Portpin do have the club's best interests at heart and will not agree to a sale to a party who has no ability to fund the club going forward. Portpin have invested a substantial amount of money in the club and should receive a fair value for that investment. But the PST do not have the funds to pay football creditors in full and therefore under Football League rules will be stripped of their share and membership. We simply do not see how this is in the best interests of the club. Portpin are in effect being asked to accept a hugely reduced amount on what they are owed to deliver a sale which would kick the club out of The Football League and without any form of funding to stabilise the club. In short, there are no positives to the PST offer whether from Portpin's or the club's view.

"However, if the PST were to make a properly funded offer that would secure a stable future for the club, pay off football creditors so as to retain the club's Football League status and offer an acceptable sum to Portpin whilst showing a business plan that would fund the club for the foreseeable future then we would be more than willing to assist the PST.

"To date they have failed to offer something anywhere near this. Supporters Trusts' have a poor record of passing successful rescue packages and unfortunately the PST shows no reason why they would do any better. We would therefore ask the Council to be careful what they wish for as the PST offer no stable future and we would ask the Council to present us with any blue print from a previous supporters trust bid that has been successful at this level.

"To clarify, we are more than willing to work with the PST if they can come up with a properly funded bid -- this was explain(ed) to them by us at a personal meeting we all had at (administrator) Trevor Birch office in London last month.

"At present, they are a long way from that and until then we cannot take the PST bid as a viable bid in order not to risk the attempts to rescue the club."