Portsmouth High Court case adjourned until Friday

By Nabil HassanBBC South Sport at the High Court
A Portsmouth scarf on the railings outside the Royal Courts of Justice

The case to decide the future of Portsmouth Football Club has been adjourned until 14:00 GMT on Friday.

Thursday's hearing between the club's administrators, PKF, and Portpin, the company of former owner Balram Chainrai, had been to ask the High Court to force the sale of Fratton Park.

PKF asked for an adjournment because of "a significant change in the terms of the transaction relating to REL".

REL (Robinson Estates Limited) is connected to property developer Stuart Robinson, one of a number of 'high net worth' individuals working alongside ordinary supporters in the Pompey Supporters' Trust.

Robinson had been scheduled to buy Pompey's Fratton Park stadium as well as land surrounding the ground once the PST took control of the club.

Fratton Park is currently controlled by Chainrai, who is owed £12m by the club and holds the stadium as security.

PKF had named the PST as preferred bidders for the club, who have been in administration since February and are said to be £61m in debt.

But the sale of Pompey to the Trust was conditional on PKF forcing the sale of Fratton Park.

The PST has offered Chainrai £2.75m for the stadium, but the Hong Kong-based businessman - who was not at the High Court on Thursday - has refused.

Chainrai is still hopeful of taking control of the club for a third time and Portpin's QC Richard Sheldon said in court they were "worried about the future of the club and do not want to see the club liquidated".

That scenario is still very likely if the Trust do not take control of the club.

"Obviously this has always been a very complex case, and the fact we have this adjournment for 24 hours is not a complete surprise," PST spokesman Colin Farmery told BBC South Sport.

"The important thing is that we get the right outcome for Portsmouth Football Club, and if we need to take another day, week or month to achieve the right outcome for Portsmouth Football Club then that time is worth taking.

"But at the moment we need to take some time out to digest the discussions that are going to be taking place over the next 12-24 hours."

PKF added: "We will use this time to explore our options and take stock of the situation."

Portpin were unavailable for comment.

The case continues.

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