Balram Chainrai

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Balram Chainrai
Residence Hong Kong
Nationality British, Nepalese

Balram Chainrai is a Hong Kong based businessman that was born in Hong Kong.

Chainrai is known in the United Kingdom as the owner of the first Premier League team that entered administration,[1] and his involvement caused many protests from supporters.[2]

Portsmouth Football Club[edit]

First takeover, administration and sale[edit]

In 2010 Balram Chainrai lent former owner Ali al-Faraj, whom he had never met, £17 million.[3] When the owner failed to meet a scheduled loan repayment, Chainrai took control of the club.[4] While the press called him the "owner" of the club, Chainrai initially rejected this label and maintained that he was only protecting his investment and that he was a reluctant owner.[5] Under Chainrai's ownership Portsmouth became the first ever Premier League club to enter administration, on 26 February 2010.[6] Chainrai says he will do everything to protect Portsmouth from liquidation in the future.[7] Chainrai has agreed terms to take over Pompey for a second time after negotiations with David Lampitt.[8]

Having finally come out of administration on 23 October 2010, Portsmouth confirmed the sale of the club back to Chainrai. At the end of the 2010/11 season, Convers Sports Initiatives, owned by Russian Vladimir Aleksandrovich Antonov, completed its takeover of the club.

Second administration[edit]

In November 2011 a Europe-wide arrest warrant for Antonov was issued by Lithuanian prosecutors as part of an investigation into alleged asset stripping at Lithuanian bank Bankas Snoras, 68% owned by Antonov, which went into temporary administration. This led on 29 November 2011 to Antonov resigning as chairman of Portsmouth after parent company Convers Sports Initiatives entered administration. On 24 January 2012, Portsmouth were issued with a winding up petition by HMRC for over £1.6 million in unpaid taxes, which was heard on 20 February. Instead, Portsmouth went into administration for the second time in two years, bringing them an automatic 10-point deduction and relegation to League One. On 27 February 2012 a leading insolvency expert said that he believed Chainrai might never get back the £17m that he was owed by the club, and that security could be devalued by the courts if administrator Trevor Birch asked for a ruling on its true worth.[9] On 4 March 2012, Chainari seemed on the verge of becoming Pompey’s ‘reluctant owner’ for a second time.[10] and the next day on 5 March 2012, Birch said he had met with the Chainrai to discuss the club's search for a new owner.[11]

New bid for club[edit]

On 18 May 2012 Balram Chainrai’s Portpin launched a bid to take Portsmouth F.C. (affectionately known as Pompey) out of administration that was provisionally accepted by the creditors[12] but indicated he would "prefer someone else to come in".[13] On 22 June 2012 the Pompey Supporters' Trust also submitted an approved bid to take the club out of administration which would see the creditors paid more.[14] On 15 August 2012 Chainrai withdrew his bid due to criticism of his further involvement by fans, the financial conditions imposed by the League, a ten-point penalty, the administrators' fees, and a number of other items.[15] Chainrai was criticised by manager Michael Appleton, who described him as "unprofessional" after he slashed a promised budget of £4m for new player acquisitions in May to £1.5m.[16] In August Appleton said he was willing to work with Chainrai despite this disagreement. [17]

On 24 August 2012 Chainrai submitted a new bid after he said he had been asked to by the administrators, the council and the creditors, but when questioned they all denied it.[18] This reinvolvement also led to protests from Portsmouth supporters.[18] On 28 August 2012 Members of the UK Parliament urged Chainrai to accept the offer from The Pompey Supporter Trust.[19] According to Carl Faulds, a football finance expert, Chainrai fears that, if he is unsuccessful in his attempts to buy the club, he will lose control of Portsmouth stadium Fratton Park.[20] On 25 September 2012 Chainrai began to criticise The Pompey Supporters' Trust, claiming that their bid had no substance.[21] The following day PST responded, criticising Chainrai and saying the negotiations were 'alive and kicking', and that Chainrai was the wrong choice of owner for the club.[22] By 10 October 2012 a thousand Portsmouth Fans had signed an online petition to football authorities to prevent Chainrai owning the club once again. At least 2,700 signatures had been collected when Fan Dan Lacey launched the No Portpin at Pompey petition.[23] Soon after, Chainrai's bid to buy Portsmouth failed to meet approval by The Football League, because he wouldn't pass their 'owners and directors' test.[24] Chainari has denied this, insisting the bid progress to buy the club is positive.[25] On the deadline day, Administrator Trevor Birch announced Pompey Supporters’ Trust was the preferred bidder to take over Portsmouth.[26] After the negotiations, Chainari vowed he would become a Portsmouth owner once again.[27] However, Chanrai halted his attempt to buy the club on 19 November 2012 for the second time[28] It was announced that the case would be heard at the High Court of Justice on 13 and 14 December after Chainari held the stadium, Fratton Park, as security[29] Prior to this court case, Chainrai announced his intention not to go the court hearing.[30] The case has since been delayed several times and is now subject to an absolute deadline to be heard by 19 April.

Gone but not forgotten[edit]

On 10 April, at 16:10, it was announced in court that an agreement had been made between the Portsmouth Supporters Trust and Portpin, to release the fixed charge on Fratton Park, and enable the completion of the purchase of Portsmouth Football Club by the fans.

Other investments[edit]

In August 2012 Chainrai made an investment in Great City Attractions in Mersyside, after its owner Great City Attractions Global Ltd, went into administration the previous month.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pompey become first top-flight club in administration". BBC. 26 February 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Balram Chainrai submits new Portsmouth offer". BBC. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Jackson, Jamie (2 April 2010). "Balram Chainrai denies existence of asset-stripping plan at Portsmouth". London: The Guardian. 
  4. ^ "Pompey have fourth new owner of the season". Portsmouth News. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Portsmouth: Chainrai dismisses Pompey Supporters' Trust bid". BBC. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Pompey become first top-flight club in administration". BBC Sport. 26 February 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Chainrai will protect Pompey's future". Portsmouth News. 6 August 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Chainrai puts pen to paper on deal to own Pompey for second time". Portsmouth News. 13 August 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Balram Chainrai could lose his £17m stake in Portsmouth". BBC Sport. 27 February 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Chainrai set to become Pompey owner again". Portsmouth News. 4 March 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "Portsmouth administrator confirms Balram Chainrai meeting". BBC Sport. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "Balram Chainrai submits his bid to buy Pompey". Portsmouth News. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "FORMER OWNER BALRAM CHAINRAI TO PORTSMOUTH RESCUE". Express. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "POMPEY SUPPORTERS' TRUST BID FOR PORTSMOUTH FOOTBALL CLUB". 22 June 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  15. ^ "Chainrai withdraws Pompey bid". Sky Sports. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  16. ^ "Michael Appleton calls Balram Chainrai 'unprofessional'". BBC Sport. 13 August 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  17. ^ "Portsmouth boss Michael Appleton will work with Chainrai". BBC Sport. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  18. ^ a b "Pompey future is in Birch’s hands as final bids made". 24 August 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  19. ^ "MPs call for Pompey sale to supporters’ trust". Portsmouth News. 28 August 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  20. ^ "Chainrai ‘is afraid of losing control of Fratton Park’". Portsmouth News. 26 September 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  21. ^ "Chainrai criticises fans’ bid to buy Pompey". Portsmouth News. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  22. ^ "Pompey fans hit out at Balram Chainrai". Portsmouth News. 26 September 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  23. ^ "Portpin comeback? It’s a no for 2,700 fans...". Portsmouth News. 5 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  24. ^ "League ‘won’t approve’ Chainrai bid". Portsmouth News. 13 October 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  25. ^ "Portsmouth: Balram Chainrai denies takeover problem". BBC Sport. 13 October 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  26. ^ "Pompey Supporters’ Trust named preferred bidders". Portsmouth News. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  27. ^ "Portpin still want to own Pompey". Portsmouth News. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  28. ^ "Portpin ‘suspend’ bid to buy Pompey". Portsmouth News. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  29. ^ "Portsmouth: Fratton Park hearing at High Court on 13-14 December". BBC Sport. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  30. ^ "Chainrai to miss Pompey’s crucial court case". Portsmouth News. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  31. ^ "Balram Chainrai invests in Wheel of Liverpool". Portsmouth News. 28 August 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 

External links[edit]