Portsmouth buyers blame administrators for collapsed deal

by Rachael Singh

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15 Aug 2012

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THE BUYER LINED-UP to buy Portsmouth FC has blamed the administrators for its decision to walk-away from the deal.

Administrators from PKF were dealt a shocking blow to its rescue deal of the club as its buyer Portpin announced it has walked away from the deal.

The club entered administration for the second time in two years on 17 February, with PKF partners Trevor Birch, Ian Gould and Bryan Jackson appointed.

According to SkyNews Portpin said it was stepping back after a lack of co-operation from the administrators as well as the administrators refusing to compromise on their fees.

A statement to the news channel said: "Unfortunately, our efforts to save the club once more from extinction have hit a wall of rejection and lacking co-operation from the administrator and other interested parties.

"We are not the ones who have caused the club to collapse and we are not the ones to choose PKF as administrators.

"Later he [the administrator] approached us to be his safety net to save the club as he couldn't find a buyer. We agreed in the effort to avoid liquidation of the club.

"At this moment in time, we feel that: the negative criticism and lack of support for our takeover by the fans of this club...the fact that the administrators do not want to compromise on their unrealistic fees."

"...All of these facts have left us in a position that we no longer want to fight this battle."

Birch recently spent several weeks trying to offload the first-team players at the club to reduce its wage bill in order to sell the club.

However, the Portpin statement said recent parachute payments from the Football League of £12m, to carry the club for the next two seasons, was spent on administrator and players' fees.

It added that other claims have recently materialised for substantial funds from former players and management, which has pushed up the debts at the club.

It was estimated that under a rescue deal to sell the club creditors were likely to receive 2p for every pound owed.

However, earlier this month Birch estimated the club had until 10 August to reduce the wage bill or it would enter liquidation.

Birch, PKF partner, said: "We note Portpin's statement that it has withdrawn its bid for Portsmouth Football Club.

"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 Michael Appleton to enable the club to field as strong a team as possible for its first League match on Saturday."



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