Football club secures £1.45m bridging loan

Football club secures £1.45m bridging loan

The borrowing of a £1.45 million bridging loan will lead to the survival of an ex-Premier League football club, according to .

The borrowing of a £1.45 million bridging loan will lead to the survival of an ex-Premier League football club, according to a BBC report.

Portsmouth FC, which was relegated from the top flight in 2010, is expected to be subject to a £7.68 million bid from the Pompey Supporters’ Trust (PST) after the Club’s High Court hearing date was adjourned for a fourth successive time.

It is believed that the delay has resulted from an issue with support from the Professional Footballers’ Association.

PST has reportedly secured a £1.45 million bridging loan from Portsmouth City Council to facilitate its takeover bid, alongside backing from a property partner – Stuart Robinson – to fund the £3 million acquisition of the land surrounding Fratton Park and to help buy the Club’s stadium.

The trust has also received funding from several investors, including local businessman Iain McInnes, and £2.5 million of fan pledges.

PST has been granted the loan pending a number of conditions imposed by the local council, including a fixed price of £7.68 million for the final acquisition of the Club.

It has also been stipulated that the PST must obtain a legal charge over Fratton Park and that no other legal charges are made against the income or assets of the Club, beyond those set out in PST’s business plan, without the prior consent of the council.

The council has also called for the appointment of a “skilled and experienced” Chief Executive by the trust.

In order for PST’s bid to be successful, however, the Club’s administrators PKF will need to force through the sale of Fratton Park to finally relinquish former owner Balram Chainrai’s hold on the south-coast side.

Portsmouth first entered into administration on 26th February 2010, after a period of lavish overspending on both players and their wages which resulted in the Club owing approximately £135 million.

The Club was then relegated from the Premier League at the close of the 2009-2010 season despite also reaching the FA Cup Final.

Following a number of contract disputes and scandals regarding another former owner of the club, Vladimir Antonov, after his alleged involvement in an asset stripping scam at Lithuanian bank Bankas Snoras, the club re-entered administration on 17th February 2011.

Starting the 2012-2013 season in League 1 with a 10-point deduction, Pompey endured a torrid 12 months in which they failed to move out of the relegation, failing to register a single win in 21 games.

However, in October 2012, PST was named ‘preferred bidder’ over a number of other potential owners by administrators KPF, paving the way for the trust to eventually take control of the Club.

The Football League previously released a statement confirming PST’s status a preferred bidders.

It read: “Any change of preferred bidder at such a late stage would only create further uncertainty. It is not in the wider interests of the League and its member clubs [to do this].”

The hearing to determine Portsmouth’s future will now take place in London on 21st February, 2013.

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