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Football League

Supporters' Trust keen to salvage Portsmouth


Pompey Supporters' Trust - Portsmouth's sole hope for survival - have reacted to the news of Portpin's withdrawal to buy the financially-stricken club by declaring "this is the moment we have been waiting for".

Balram Chainrai's company Portpin this morning announced they had pulled the plug on their bid for the troubled npower League One club.

Chainrai listed a number of reasons behind his decision, most notably a lack of support and co-operation from administrator PKF and other involved parties, 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".

Portsmouth administrator Trevor Birch has since stated he is keen to set up a meeting with the Pompey Supporters' Trust - the only remaining route to avoid liquidation - and Portpin to help try and save the cash-strapped club's future.

The Trust are ready to step up in the hour of need and now need to come up with the necessary funds to turn the south-coast outfit into a community-owned club.

"This is the moment we have been waiting for," spokesperson Colin Farmery told http://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."

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.

News of Chainrai's withdrawal broke this morning, leading to immediate questions over the future of Portsmouth.

But Birch was quick to issue a response and the Trust seem ready and willing to answer the call, although whether they are able remains to be seen.

Birch said: "We note Portpin's statement that it has withdrawn its bid for Portsmouth Football Club.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 (manager) to enable the club to field as strong a team as possible for its first league match on Saturday."

Appleton was last night 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.