One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Pompey Nearer To Exiting Administration
Portsmouth have moved a step closer to coming out of administration after the club's creditors voted in favour of Balram Chainrai's Company Voluntary Arrangement proposal at a meeting at Fratton Park.
Former Pompey owner Chainrai, who is personally owed millions of pounds by the club, now has 28 days to begin the process and bring Portsmouth out of administration.
However, the decision does not mean the end of the line for the Pompey Supporters' Trust (PST), who had submitted a rival offer.
If Chainrai takes over, the PST can do a deal with him directly to buy the club.
Alternatively, if the PST put together a better bid within the 28 days, then administrator Trevor Birch can choose them to take the club forward, irrespective of the creditors' decision.
Birch, a partner at PKF accountants & business advisers and joint administrator of Portsmouth Football Club, said via a statement on the club's official website, portsmouthfc.co.uk:
''Today's decision is another important milestone for Portsmouth and takes the club a significant step closer towards leaving administration.
''We are beginning to see light at the end of what has, at times, been a very long and dark tunnel. This is, however, still dependent on restructuring the player cost base, which is a condition of both the existing offers.
''As well as securing approval of the CVA, we have also agreed modifications that will enable us to enter negotiations with other interested parties.
''As a result, we plan to meet with the Pompey Supporters' Trust, which submitted an indicative offer for the club last Friday, in the next few days in order to discuss its bid.
''The shareholders have also approved the CVA.
''My PKF colleagues and I would like to thank the creditors, not only for their support today but also for their patience and understanding during the last few months.
''Portsmouth Football Club needs stability - it is the least that fans, players and staff deserve after their unwavering support in very difficult circumstances.
''There are still plenty of obstacles, and much work to do, but the approval of the CVA and the modification to the proposals means that progress is being made towards achieving this objective.''
Portsmouth are currently in the region of £60million in debt after previous owners Convers Sports Initiatives went into administration.
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