LONDON Portsmouth have come out of administration and are now officially owned by the Pompey Supporters' Trust (PST), the League One (third tier) club's joint administrator said on Friday.
"We have cleared the final hurdle: all of the paperwork has now been signed and the sale concluded," Trevor Birch, a partner at business services firm BDO, said on the Portsmouth website (www.portsmouthfc.co.uk).
The PST's purchase of the club ends 14 months of administration for Portsmouth, who earlier this week were relegated to the Football League's fourth and lowest division, League Two, having been in the Premier league in 2010.
"It has taken more than 14 months of hard work from all concerned to get here and there were many times over that period when I didn't think we would make it; but we have and Portsmouth FC can once again look forward to the future with optimism.
"The PST has shown what can be achieved when fans unite together for the good of their community.
"The club has been through considerable turmoil over the last few years and I hope it can now enjoy a period of stability and the chance to build solid foundations for a sustainable future based on hard work and honest endeavour."
The Football League must now decide when to deduct 10 points from Portsmouth, the 2008 FA Cup winners, for officially coming out of administration.
Ashley Brown, chairman of the Pompey Supporters' Trust, said on the club website: "What a momentous day! Once again Pompey fans have shown why they are some of the best in the land.
"We now have a club owned by people who truly love it - its fans. That's how football's supposed to be."
(Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Ian Ransom)