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Birch wants meeting to save Pompey
Published : 15 Aug 2012 13:46:56
Portsmouth administrator Trevor Birch is keen to set up a meeting with the Pompey Supporters' Trust and Balram Chainrai's company Portpin to try and help save the financially-stricken club's future.
The news comes after Wednesday morning's announcement from Portpin that they have withdrawn their bid for the troubled npower League One club. Chainrai listed a number of reasons behind his decision to pull out but went on to state "we welcome and will assist anyone, including the Supporters' Trust, to try and save the club in the coming days".
The announcement leaves Pompey in real danger of liquidation, but administrator Birch hopes the Supporters' Trust can still come to their rescue. He said: "We note Portpin's statement that it has withdrawn its bid for Portsmouth Football Club."
He continued: "In reviewing the options available to the club, we also note Portpin's offer to support any efforts to save Portsmouth in the forthcoming days. We are therefore urgently seeking a meeting with Portpin and the Pompey Supporters' Trust to determine if the Trust's bid can be brought to a successful conclusion.
"We are working behind the scenes with (manager) Michael Appleton to enable the club to field as strong a team as possible for its first league match on Saturday."
Appleton was forced to field nine teenagers in his starting XI as Portsmouth crashed out of the Capital One Cup with a 3-0 first-round defeat at Plymouth on Tuesday. Portsmouth's future now appears to be down to the Supporters' Trust and whether they can come up with the funds to turn the south-coast outfit into a community-owned club.
The Trust insist fans have already pledged almost £2million and a combination of associate directors and individual investors another £1m.
Portsmouth City Council last Thursday agreed a £1.45m temporary bridging loan to the Trust, in the event of a 'commercial' solution not emerging. And the Trust have welcomed the news that Portpin have withdrawn their bid.
"This is the moment we have been waiting for," spokesperson Colin Farmery told www.pompeytrust.com. "Fans need to be ready to come up with the money they have pledged. It is a pivotal moment in the club's history.
"We welcome the fact Portpin have stated they want to want to help save the club. It is in no-one's interests Pompey are liquidated. I am certain Pompey fans, the city of Portsmouth and the wider football family will be able to do what is needed to make Pompey the biggest community club of its type in the UK."