Pompey Supporters' Trust defends link with developer

Fratton Park

The Pompey Supporters' Trust has defended its decision to hold talks with a property developer as it looks to take control of the stricken club.

Developer Stuart Robinson has offered to buy Fratton Park and lease it back.

The move has been met with criticism from fans who are wary of a similar situation that allowed Balram Chainrai to have such a hold over the club.

"I can understand fans' reservations, they are shared by me," Trust spokesman Colin Farmery told BBC Radio Solent.

The PST is vying for control of the administration-hit club, who are said to be £58m in debt.

Chainrai's company Portpin, which is owed up to £18m and holds Fratton Park as security, is also looking to buy Pompey.

Administrators PKF have given both parties two weeks to finalise their bids.

Working with a property developer would mean the PST would no longer need the £1.4m bridging loan from the council to buy Fratton Park.

But it would mean the trust would not have control of the stadium or hold it as an asset.

"When we put our revised bid to PKF 10 days ago we had a fixed amount of money to play with," added Farmery.

"We have had discussions with Stuart Robinson but we've been talking to property developers for over a year now.

"We want to find a strategic partner who gets what we are trying to do and that's build a community club that is sustainable.

"It's not about getting a property developer involved, it is about getting the right investor so the club can prosper.

"If you are going to redevelop Fratton Park and play at the highest level eventually you are going to need to work with a property developer to do that.

"So the key thing that fans need to remember we will strike the right deal for the club.

"PKF have given us another fortnight to buy the club and we regard this as a positive move.

"When Portpin first pulled out, it gave us the initiative and we are now in pole position. We've got two weeks to do the deal and get our bid over the line."