Chainrai criticises fans’ bid to buy Pompey

Balram Chainrai
Balram Chainrai

FORMER Pompey owner Balram Chainrai has claimed the bid by fans to buy the club ‘has no substance.’

Mr Chainrai, whose Portpin firm looks set to be named by administrators PKF as preferred bidders to take over Pompey, criticised the rival bid by the Pompey Supporters Trust.

The Hong Kong-based businessman, who has described himself as a reluctant owner in the past, told BBC Sport that, although the club has ‘no value’ in League One, he was willing to spend whatever it takes to guide Pompey up the league ladder.

But, the BBC reported, he had admitted he was ‘unsure’ whether or not he will pass the Football League’s owners and directors test

He said: ‘PKF weren’t able to confirm PST as preferred bidders because its offer has no substance.

‘PKF realised that once you start the due diligence on the trust’s offer, there is no actual money in place and there are about 30 of them all trying to run it.

‘You can’t run a business like that.

‘We have the money and experience needed to take the club back where it belongs.’

“The club has no value in League One. Everybody knows that,” he said.

‘So I’m going to put money in to return them to their glories and then sell the club. But who knows? I might enjoy it so much I won’t sell it.

‘I’m not reluctant anymore. I’ve changed my mind.’

The BBC said Mr Chainrai had denied Portpin had anything to do with the club going into administration after the collapse of its former parent company Convers Sports Initiatives.

It comes as the trust sent a letter to the Football League questioning Portpin’s suitability as potential owners, claiming the firm’s involvement in the club goes against the authority’s owners and directors test regulations.

Trust spokesman Colin Farmery told The News: ‘’As far as I am aware the last time PST spoke to PKF there were no issues with our bid in terms of its financial viability and the Football League was also happy with it, so I am not sure what Mr Chainrai is referring to.

‘There is certainly no ‘infighting.’ PST has been working on this project since March and we remain completely united in our goal of creating the biggest community club in Britain. It is interesting Mr Chainrai has raised he issue of the owners and directors’ test, as we feel it is something the Football League need to be aware of.’

PKF did not comment when contacted by The News.