Keith Harris' latest bid for Portsmouth rejected by Football League

The former Football League chairman has had his most recent bid for Pompey rejected after the body confirmed they would only accept a bid from the Pompey Supporters' Trust
Keith Harris has had his latest bid for Portsmouth rejected by the Football League, the governing body have confirmed.

Despite offering fans a 15% stake in the debt-ridden club as part of a revised bid, the Football League board have released a statement confirming they will only consider bids from the Pompey Supporters Trust, who have already been approved by the league and the club's creditors.

"The board is not considering alternative applications for the transfer of Portsmouth's share in The Football League," a statement on the governing body's website read.

"It remains focused on a successful transfer of share to the preferred bidder, the Pompey Supporters Trust."

Despite being the approved bidder for Portsmouth Football Club, the PST can only have their bid accepted once they acquire the club's stadium, Fratton Park, from the previous owner Balram Chainrai, who is holding the stadium as security against his claims the club still owe him £12 million.

The Harris-led bid have stated that the option to acquire that stadium will become active immediately once they have finalised the takeover, but the Football League remain an obstacle.

A statement on behalf of the Harris-fronted bid stated: "Funds to complete the purchase are ready to be transferred to a UK solicitors' bank account and therefore ready for immediate release, subject only to the consent of The Football League.

"Negotiations to purchase the club from the administrators and a payment plan to satisfy the PFA [Professional Footballers Association] have now been completed and the agreements are ready for signature.

"Our bid has the full support of the creditors' committee including HMRC and the PFA as it gives a much greater return to creditors than the PST proposal. It also complies fully with the terms of the CVA.

"The only outstanding issue remains the consent of The Football League, and all paperwork in that regard including the business plan, and stadium lease and purchase, are available for immediate consideration by the board of The Football League."

But PST spokesman Colin Farmery rejects the offers made by Harris, suggesting the timing and motives for the bid are questionable, while insisting the PST are on course to complete their takeover of the club.

"The timing is curious," Farmery told BBC Radio Solent.

"Our immediate reaction is why now when the PST is on the verge of completing a deal for Pompey Football Club?

"We are about to get 100% of the club as Pompey fans so why on earth would we be interested in an offer giving us only 15%.

"The Football League statement was very robust and they have made it clear they only want to deal with us. Our bid is credible and ready to go. Our bid will ensure that we own Fratton Park from day one and make a total and clean break from the past."