• Case adjourned to 15 January at request of administrator
• Issues relating to sale of Fratton Park lead to delay
Portsmouth's protracted ownership saga is set to run until next year after the high court case that could have opened the door for a takeover by supporters was adjourned until 15 January.
Mr Justice Sales granted the request from Portsmouth's administrator, PKF, who argued that there are still unspecified issues to be resolved over the sale of the Fratton Park ground.
If the parties cannot reach a resolution then they will return in mid-January. However, if there are fresh developments a new court date could be issued at any time during the 28-day adjournment.
Portsmouth, struggling at the bottom end of League One, were placed into administration in February but the Pompey Supporters' Trust had hoped they would be given the go-ahead to take control of the club after a two-day hearing.
Any takeover is dependent on PKF forcing the sale of Fratton Park to PST for £2.75m, the trust's valuation for the ground. The club's former owner Balram Chanrai is understood to want a considerably larger sum.
On Thursday, PKF requested an adjournment because of "a significant change in the terms of transaction relating to REL". Robinson Estates Limited are a company associated with the property developer Stuart Robinson, who is working alongside PST and will buy Fratton Park if the trust's takeover is successful.
The Trust spokesman, Colin Farmery, was upbeat outside the courtroom despite the hitch. He said: "It's been a long road to get this far and if it takes an extra day or an extra week or month to get the right result for the football club then that time is well spent.
"A community club is the most important thing that this club needs and when I consider the work that has been put in by all the people behind this bid and the fantastic support we've had from our supporters, were certainly not intending to fail at the final fence."
A number of Portsmouth fans attended the hearing and a small group confronted Chainrai's brother, Deepak, and his adviser, Levi Kushnir, outside the court afterwards, before the pair quickly left in a taxi.
Chanrai's Portpin company later issued a statement, saying: "The proposed purchaser of the stadium was simply not in a position to fund the purchase even at the minimum price PST offered. This has been a huge waste of time and money. Legal costs of around £400,000 have been awarded to us against the administrators, money that we are going to pursue administrators personally through the courts, to do all we can to ensure that the club does not have to pay.
"In what has already been the most expensive and longest running administration in the history of English football, there can be no further delays if this club is to survive."