People and Business: Footy saviours

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The Independent Online
THERE'S CERTAINLY no excuse for wanting to microwave Tom Burton and John Ariel, administrators of Portsmouth Football Club, who are working hard to find a new backer for the troubled side.

The recovery specialists from accountants Kidsons Impey were sent in at the beginning of the month to sort out the finances of "Pompey", as the south-coast club is called.

Messrs Burton and Ariel have quite a track record in rescuing footy clubs. They got a taste of it carrying out the restructuring of Brighton & Hove Albion in 1992. But they claim the receivership of Gillingham FC in 1995 as their best performance so far. Mr Burton says: "We found a buyer, when Gillingham was second bottom of Division 3 ... the club has now risen to 6th place in Division 2."

Mr Burton is a native of Glasgow, "where football is fairly difficult to avoid"; he supports Rangers. As for Mr Ariel, he comes from Kent, and supports Gillingham. He also used to support Maidstone - before they went out of business.