Portsmouth administrator Trevor Birch welcomes fans' plan

Fratton Park

Administrator Trevor Birch has welcomed the Portsmouth Supporters' Trust Share Scheme as a "sensible way forward".

The scheme, which will launch on Saturday, invites supporters to deposit a refundable minimum of £100 into a protected account.

If sufficient numbers respond, the PST will undertake due diligence and develop an offer to buy the club.

"It may well be viable but it depends on how many people get involved," Birch told BBC Radio Solent.

"There's a bit of work to do but in terms of principles and objectives it has to be applauded."

Trevor Birch
Portsmouth administrator Trevor Birch

Trust chairman Ashley Brown said: "To enable us to negotiate effectively we need to understand whether our passion is shared by many others.

"If it is present, we will be in a position to make a formal and viable investment proposal to our members and supporters, and purchase Pompey as a going concern.

"As things stand, there do not appear to be many or any other options for Pompey - it may need to be our club or no club."

The PST scheme is supported by Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, who said: "I'd urge people to examine the offer - I wouldn't back this if I didn't have the confidence in what they are doing."

Birch, who was appointed earlier this year after the club went into administration for a second time in two seasons, also confirmed he has been talking to former club chief executive Peter Storrie over plans to form a consortium to take over at Fratton Park.

"I'll talk to anybody if there's a chance of saving this club and he's trying behind the scenes to put together a consortium, so if Peter is successful in that I will talk to him."

The Pompey administrator also said the club's debt, including the £17m owed to former owner Balram Chanrai, was £50m, and added that administrators had not themselves been paid yet.

He admitted liquidation could still not be ruled out.

"I'm hopeful it won't come to that and there is enough interest from a buyer for there to be a solution.

"The fans have probably had their fill of people promising the earth and will be happy with a basic football club that is part of the community."