Prepared for the worst

Portsmouth fans are preparing themselves for the ignominy of playing in non-league football, with the very real threat of a winding up order hanging over the club’s heads, and they could be ground sharing with Havant & Waterlooville. The club are due in court again on 15 March due to a challenge to the process by which they went into administration from the HMRC. They expect to settle in their favour, but the club could still go to the wall, and in that case the fans will try and pick up the pieces.

The other problem for the fans (aside from the liquidation of their club and the drop to non-league football with a new venture) is that Fratton Park could be sold to help pay off creditors, who are owed a total of £80million, in which case they are planning to play their matches at Westleigh Park in nearby Havant.

‘Of course we want to stay at Fratton Park but nobody knows who owns it and whether that would be viable,’ said Brendan Bone of the Pompey Supporters Trust, who will form the new club if Pompey do go bust (or hope to have a seat on the board if a new owner is found). ‘We would love it if Portsmouth city council bought Fratton Park and leased it to us. That would have benefits to the wider community, but there are 250,000 council tax payers here and they are not all going to want their money spent on a football ground. We have to look at other options.’

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