portsmouth news

Pompey owner Chainrai takes Fratton Park to ease debt

February 20, 2010
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

Balram Chainrai has taken possession of Fratton Park and the freehold of Portmouth's land in return for writing off £10 million of his £17 million loans.

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Chainrai, who is Pompey's current owner but is making no pretence of the fact that he has no intention of running the club, has leased the ground back to Portsmouth.

Soccernet understands that Chainrai has given the club a 15-year lease on Fratton Park with a rent that could rise in future years, depending on different clauses, to close to £1 million a year.

Chainrai came to Pompey's rescue with two loans totalling £17 million, and with interest would be owed around £20 million.

To hand Pompey the cash, Chainrai took a charge on the land and the shares, which he possessed when the previous Middle East owners defaulted on repayments.

Chainrai is in the process of off-loading the club to potential new owners, but in the meantime has whittled down Pompey's debts by exchanging £10 million of debt for the freehold.

In addition, Soccernet can reveal that Sasha Gaydamak has also written off some of his £28 million debt in order that Pompey can return to the courts on March 1 with a substantial amount of debt wiped off his balance sheet to try to prove it is no longer insolvent.

Pompey are desperately trying to resolve some of their financial issues ahead of their D-day in the court in just nine days, with time running out to save the club from extinction.

Chief executive Peter Storrie told Soccernet on Saturday: "I am unable to comment on the latest developments regarding previous and existing owners. However, there has been some considerable movement concerning their debts, which have now been written off."