Portsmouth 'hopeful' of new deal

Club propose paying off part of tax debt then clearing remaining money in stages

Portsmouth will today seek to reach an 11th-hour agreement with HM Revenue and Customs that would save the club from being forced into liquidation at the High Court tomorrow.

The South Coast club are "hopeful" they can negotiate a deal that will convince the tax office to postpone its winding-up order over unpaid debts of £7.5m. Portsmouth's lawyers are proposing to pay off between £2m and £3m of the debt immediately and then hand over the outstanding amount in staggered payments. A club source said agreement over when outstanding debt would be paid had been reached with the rest of the club's creditors.

Portsmouth's lawyers believe they can stop the club going into liquidation or administration by reaching a deal that would allow more time for the club's new owner Balram Chanrai to sell it on again. The Hong-Kong based businessman is interested in owning Portsmouth only as a short-term measure to ensure that he does not lose the £17m loan he made to the club in October.

Portsmouth's chief executive, Peter Storrie, yesterday said he was in talks with potential new owners. "Our priority is Wednesday's court date with the Revenue," Storrie said. "Our objective, now the new owner is in place, is to seek from the courts a stay of the winding-up order. We need time for a new buyer to come in and then we will be in a position to pay the Revenue.

"If the Revenue wind this club up, then they will get nothing, and that cannot be the right answer. We're in talks with potential new owners, which would be our fifth owner already this season. I've heard the joke about how we have had more owners than wins this season, but the media have been putting the knife in all season and no one is going to stop now."

Storrie was recently in Ireland trying to attract a buyer, and is said to have interest from America. There are also claims that a member of the Saudi royal family is in discussions. HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, who is Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the UK, is interested in becoming the club's fifth owner in seven months.

Many do not believe the High Court will simply put Portsmouth out of business tomorrow. The club are due another tranche of TV money later this season, and even if they are relegated would be due two years of parachute money, which works out at £25m. Club sources also do not expect Chainrai simply to sit and watch the club being brought to an end, and its assets redistributed to creditors. He might be content, however, to allow the club to fall into administration.

Portsmouth hope a precedent has been set by the case of Notts County when a judge allowed them 28 more days to pay tax debts of £700,000 after the club produced evidence of potential bidders.

On the pitch Portsmouth tonight face Sunderland hoping for their first Premier League win since November. They are seven points from safety following their 5-0 defeat at Manchester United on Saturday.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value

Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas