Portsmouth: Date set for High Court hearing

By Nabil HassanBBC Sport
A Portsmouth scarf on the railings outside the Royal Courts of Justice

A date has been set for the High Court hearing that will finally determine the future of Portsmouth Football Club.

Pompey administrators PKF will attend the High Court on 10 or 11 April in an attempt to release Balram Chainrai's fixed charge on Fratton Park and force the sale of the club's stadium.

If a judge rules in the administrators' favour then the Pompey Supporters' Trust can proceed with their takeover.

The club have been in administration since 17 February 2012.

"The administrators of Portsmouth Football Club (2010) Ltd can confirm that the court case to determine a possible sale of Fratton Park to the PST will begin on either Wednesday, 10 April or Thursday, 11 April," said a statement.external-link

"As is often the case in such situations, we are unlikely to get confirmation of the exact date from the court until a few days prior to the hearing."

League One Pompey are said to be around £61m in debt and are facing a second successive relegation.

The preferred bidders, Pompey Supporters' Trust, have been approved by the Football League as well as the club's creditors.

However, the Trust's takeover is conditional on the group taking control of the club's Fratton Park stadium.

Former owner Chainrai believes he is owed £12m by Pompey and holds the stadium as security through his company Portpin via a fixed charge.

The PST had offered Chainrai £3m for the ground but the Hong Kong businessman has so far refused to sell while the Football League have warned they must exit administration before the end of the season or face expulsion.

Administrator PKF is seeking an independent valuation of Fratton Park and attempting to force the sale through the High Court.

The initial hearing in December was postponed because of issues between the property partner working with the Supporters' Trust and PKF.

Three further hearings have been adjourned, the most recent on 14 February because of a problem with the Professional Footballers' Association.

But all parties are now ready to go to court, despite a late bid by football financier Keith Harris.

It led to the Football League reiterating that the only offer it would consider was that of the PST.

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