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Trust Or Bust
A rollercoaster day ends with Football League stamping out Harris bid.
Well... today has certainly been an interesting one, hasn't it?
This morning, PKF had confirmed that they had received a bid from Keith Harris's consortium and that creditors had agreed to accept the bid as it offered more than the Portsmouth Supporter Trust's and there was no way that Portpin (the major creditor) were going to turn down an offer from their very own stooges.
The Trust replied by upping their offer for Fratton Park to £3 million but as the day continued it seemed increasingly likely that PKF were going to push through Harris' bid to avoid any further court dates and legal battles with Portpin's lawyers. There were suggestions that Portpin had agreed to waive all legal action against PKF if Harris' bid was accepted.
There was despair amongst some Pompey fans who knew that Harris' bid did not offer the "clean sheet" that he promised given that he planned to lease Fratton Park from Chainrai for £1.2 million a year, meaning Portpin would still have ties to the club.
Not only that, but Swansea fans have nothing good to say about Harris or his partner Steve Hamer as they were partly responsible for the club almost going into ruin ten years ago.
The involvement of a so-called rich investor in Pascal Najadi also raised eyebrows but this deal seemed very similar to the CSI deal that Harris also brokered and we all knew how that went.
In the afternoon it seemed that PKF were going to get their wish with rumours that the deal could have been ratified by tomorrow. However, that all changed when the Football League surprised us all and released a statement to scupper Trevor Birch's supposed plans.
Although the Football League state that the bid fronted by their former chairman would "create further uncertainty" at such a late stage many believe that the authorities have seen through Portpin's smokescreen and have moved to block the bid, as well as any others.
This now means that, for the time being, the Trust are the only party able to buy the club and it seems the Football League have implored PKF to get on with it. If the Trust fail to buy the club then it will be kicked out of the football league. The saying "Trust or Bust" now rings truer than ever.
I say "for the time being" in the last paragraph because there are bound to be reprecussions from Portpin, Harris and PKF from this. In fact, Birch released a statement tonight which said: “We note the Football League board’s statement and will consider its implications.”
What that means is anyone's guess but it won't be long before we find out.
The news that Harris has been rebuffed is tentatively good. I have always been skeptical of a fans' takeover for various reasons, the main one being that the Pompey fanbase is so divided (you only have to look at reaction to the news today) that there will be too many quarrels and in-fighting amongst Pompey fans for the takeover to really work.
However, I would still rather chance the Trust's takeover bid being successful in both the short and long term than another buyer have anything to do with Portpin.
It would have also been extremely gutting for all of those individuals who have poured many hours into making this work and spent so much money to make the bid credible only for it to be scuppered so late on.
There are still some twists in this saga to come for sure but for now we can reflect on the Football League having done the Pompey fans a favour.
What will tomorrow bring, I wonder?
Source: Fratton Faithful
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