Portsmouth thrash out future

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Portsmouth will have more than two-thirds of their debts written off after a deal with creditors was thrashed out but have been hit with a further £17million claim from the taxman.

The club's administrator Andrew Andronikou revealed the new claim to a meeting of creditors on Thursday which takes Pompey's total debt to £138million.

The creditors voted in favour of a Company Voluntary Arrangement, a repayment deal where most will get just 20p in the pound over five years, but that should secure Portsmouth's future.

The big losers will be former owners Alexandre Gaydamak, Sulaiman Al-Fahim and Ali Al-Faraj and the taxman, whose debts are unsecured.

Football creditors such as other clubs and current owner Balram Chainrai, who is a preferential creditor, will not lose out, and neither will charities or small creditors owed £2,500 or less.

Andronikou said the club was still up for sale but no offers have been made and Chainrai could now stay on as owner with vastly reduced debts to cope with.

Asked about Chainrai remaining, Andronikou said: "We don't know. The club is still up for sale and looking for a purchaser and have not received any firm offers, but in the last few weeks there has been interest from a variety of parties saying the most appropriate time to look is when the CVA starts.

"As far as the ownership situation is concerned this has not changed."

Chainrai's £14.2million loans were secured against the club and the stadium, and now the CVA has been agreed he will be in the situation of being in control of the club with most of the debts written off, and a guarantee of £32million in parachute payments arriving in the next 14 months.

That cash will help pay off the football creditors, with that sum around £17million.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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