sport

Fresh bidder for Portsmouth

A consortium featuring former Football League chairman Keith Harris has submitted an offer to buy Portsmouth.

Administrators PFK confirmed the new development a week before a High Court hearing due to determine whether the League One club can be sold to the Portsmouth Supporters' Trust.

The new consortium, fronted by Harris, investment banker Pascal Najadi and professional investor Alan Hitchins, says it is willing to offer the PST "a stakeholding and participation" if its bid is successful.

And Harris told Sky Sports News the "cash offer" - yet to be presented to the Football League - would leave the club debt-free and include the option to purchase Fratton Park from previous owners Portpin.

He said: "There would be neither legacy debt nor debt in our financing to acquire the club. It does not require a court hearing or anything else - it's straightforward, cash on the nail to buy the club.

"There will be no ongoing involvement by any previous owners. The transaction involves, initially, the leasing of Fratton Park but we've also entered into an agreement to acquire Fratton Park.

"That is our option, and the likelihood is it would be exercised at a very early stage."

The sale of Fratton Park, held as security by Portpin, has long been the major obstacle to the PST's proposed takeover.

Named as preferred bidder last year, the PST has been unable to agree a deal for the stadium and hopes the High Court hearing - three times adjourned already and now set for 14 February - will force Portpin to lower its asking price.

But the new offer has already been deemed "worthy of consideration" by PFK, and partner Trevor Birch said: "This offer could be completed without the need for a court case.

"We will need to discuss the terms of the deal with the PFA and the Football League and also plan to consult the creditors' committee as a matter of urgency. We will provide an update as soon as we have further news."