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Will Portsmouth live on to fight another day?

Portsmouth are hopeful of reaching an agreement with the High Court today as they look to avoid being wound-up.

In what has been described as the ‘most defining week’ in the club’s history, Portsmouth could potentially go out of existence tomorrow afternoon.

Tonight’s home league fixture against Sunderland could be their last ever game, yet bizarrely, a host of tickets still remain.

Lawyers representing the club have been in talks with HM’s Revenue & Customs over the past couple of days, working over a deal which would see the court charge dropped.

Portsmouth’s latest owner Balram Chainrai is likely to pay a substantial part of the money owed, believed to be at least £1.8m, with the rest of the debt being restructured and paid across a longer period of time.

Chainrai, who took ownership of the club last Wednesday, originally wanted as little involvement with the club as possible, looking to sell at the earliest opportunity.

In an initial statement, Portsmouth announced last week that they were planning to apply to HMRC to adjourn tomorrow’s winding-up hearing to allow time for the club to find a fifth owner.

However, it now seems the Hong-Kong businessman wants to protect his interests after still being owed £17m from the club. Rather than see the club wind-up completely, Chainrai wants his money returned as soon as possible, leaving no time for an adjournment.

Fans will be reassured to know an agreement has been reached with all other creditors who have been named in the case, including a £7.5m VAT bill. If Portsmouth are able to reach a compromise, they will avoid becoming the first Premier League side to go into administration.

‘Two or three’ groups have approached the club, stating an interest in taking over, according to executive director Mark Jacob, who still remains at the club despite Ali Al Faraj’s departure. However, Jacob was quick to dampen the excitement by saying talks were only in ‘preliminary stages’.

A small number of elite businessmen have been linked in taking over the club, as well as Saudi Arabia ambassadors! HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the UK and Ireland was said to have held talks with CEO Peter Storrie towards the end of last week. Although there is no estimated figure of wealth surrounding him, it is believed he has the finances capable of clearing Pompey’s debt overnight.

His Royal Highness does face stiff opposition from a group of Irish and American investors however, with former Manchester United shareholder John Magnier said to be included.

Fans can only hope the club is able to live on for another day.



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