|HALL RIGHT NOW: You've got to laugh as Portpin go on the offensive...|
Thu 30th Aug 2012 21:58 by Micah Hall
Portpin's response to our MP's at least gave me a good laugh. The key line, in amongst all other worthless, other than for its comedic potential, guff was this: ‘Portpin have invested a substantial amount of money in the club and should receive a fair value for that investment'.
The idea that their risky 'wonga' style loan deserves some kind of sympathy from anyone is simply hilarious. High-risk loans contain a high risk. They took the risk and lost their money. That, my friends, is tough titty. The idea that PKF, players, HMRC and local business should all get stiffed and just take it but Portpin should be treated 'fairly' almost defies belief.
When you make an investment in a business, you bet on the business increasing in value. If it doesn't, you've lost your money. That's why the higher the risk the higher the interest you charge. That's why Spain pay more to borrow than the UK, because you lend Spain money and you stand a much greater chance of only getting half of it back.
Guess what? Pompey didn't increase in value. So a fair return for it is what it is worth. Trevor Birch said this was £3m, and remember he is the one trying to maximise the value for creditors. The club is worth whatever Fratton Park is worth, and according to the District Valuer that is £2.1m. So a fair value, would be about £2.75m - coincidentally what the Trust has offered.
As for the comments about the Football League saying the Trust's bid was not viable, let's remember that Portpin's last statement seven days' ago seemed to claim that their return was at the behest of the PFA, Football League, PCC, PKF, Uncle Tom Cobley and All. It took less than 24 hours for every one of them to categorically deny it to Emma Judd of the News, with Mike Hancock, MP for Portsmouth South, saying: "There is no way that the council have approached Portpin and asked them to come back, not councillors, not officers. Absolutely no way, and I want that made clear."
Simply, if the Football League had said that, Trevor Birch would have no decision to make.
And there's more. Take this: "Portpin do have the club's best interests at heart and will not agree to a sale to a party who has no ability to fund the club going forward."
Errr. Excuse me? Is this the same Portpin who sold to CSI in June 2011, who by November 2011 patently had 'no ability to fund the club going forward' given that the principal shareholder of that company had been arrested on charges of embezzlement in Lithuania. To be fair it should be pointed out Vladimir Antonov denies the charges, but as a picker of 'good buyers' Portpin's track record isn't great. Happily it is Birch who has that call to make this time around.
Portpin are rattled. They know they have no support left to speak of among fans, and are reduced to making claims about support from other organisations that are immediately roundly denied.
They simply need to give it up. If they do take over they will face a wave of hostility from almost everyone connected with Pompey. They will have succeeded only in giving Pompey fans a platform to denounce them at every opportunity.
By their own account, Portpin came to Pompey to make a fast buck and got their fingers burned. Their involvement is simply no longer welcome, and if they really had the interests of the club at heart, they would take the hint and get lost.
The views of Micah Hall are his own and don't necessarily reflect the editorial view of pompey-fans.com
The Pompey Supporters' Trust is still seeking pledges from Pompey fans to back their bid. Information can be found here