Football broker Harris lining up rival bid for stricken Portsmouth

CITY financier and leading football deal-broker Keith Harris last night emerged as the face of a possible rival bid for embattled League One club Portsmouth.

The south coast side, who are £60m in debt, had been expected to be sold to the Portsmouth Supporters’ Trust (PST), who were appointed preferred bidders by administrators PKF in November.

Portsmouth’s future is set to be decided in the High Court in seven days’ time, after a hearing to resolve wrangling with former owner Balram Chainrai was last week adjourned for a third time.

Harris, who was involved in the sales of Chelsea to Roman Abramovich and Manchester City to Thaksin Shinawatra, would become chairman if his bid was successful, according to Sky News.

It is not known who would fund the bid fronted by Harris, who part-owns troubled stockbroker Seymour Pierce and has previously acted for Chainrai.

PST spokesman Colin Farmery told City A.M. that rumours had circulated of a rival bid but that theirs remained best for the club.

“As far as the PST is concerned, our bid is fully funded and ready to go,” he said. “We need to be sure that we make a clean break from the past.”

Harris is a former chairman of the Football League and an ardent Manchester United fan.