Portsmouth become England's biggest fan-owned club

The League One outfit have struggled financially ever since dropping out of the top flight in 2010, but after a long court battle it has now been purchased by a supporters' group
Portsmouth have been bought out by fans' group Pompey Supporters Trust after administrators BDO helped them to settle out of court.

The deal sees the League One outfit become the largest fan-owned club in the country, after Portpin, a holding company run by former club owners Balram Chainrai, Levi Kushnir and Deepak Chainrai, who controlled Fratton Park, agreed a settlement with BDO.

BDO initially had to take their case to the High Court to get permission to sell Fratton Park against Portpin's wishes and to get a judgement on how much the stadium should be sold for.

Portpin's £10 million value placed on the club's stadium was some way off Pompey Supporters Trust non-negotiable bid of £3m, but Trust chairman Ashley Brown was delighted when a compromise was reached on Wednesday.

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"This is a historic day for Portsmouth Football Club and for Pompey fans everywhere," Brown told reporters.

"At last, the tough work done over the last year is over and we can start to rebuild our club.

"Pompey fans are now days away from owning and running our club and becoming the biggest community owned football club in the country.

"We have a lot of people to thank, and much more to say, but will do that once the details of today's settlement are finalised.

"For now, we would like to offer heartfelt thanks to Pompey fans all over the world who have pledged money and have saved our club from liquidation.

"Now the next chapter of hard work begins to transform our club into something the community of Portsmouth can be proud of, both on and off the field."

It has since been revealed that the club will become known as Portsmouth Community Football Club Ltd, with long-term administrator and BDO partner, Trevor Birch, admitting that the past year had been an immensely challenging one to try and keep the club afloat.

He added: "We were appointed to secure the best deal for creditors and today's developments enable us to fulfil that obligation.

"The past year has been incredibly challenging for everyone involved with the club - fans, staff and players - and I want to thank them all for their support.

"They deserve credit for keeping Portsmouth Football Club alive despite what, at times, seemed like insurmountable obstacles and I'm sure that their actions will inspire supporters' groups at other clubs."