MidEast investors launch $20m bid for Portsmouth

Formal offer made for struggling English football club; funds being held in Dubai Bank

Middle East investors have lodged a dramatic $20m bid to take over troubled football club Portsmouth, Arabian Business can reveal.

Details of the offer were sent to the club’s administrators last Tuesday. Documents seen by Arabian Business also show that a consortium of investors deposited funds totaling AED75.058m ($20.4m) into an escrow account held  by Dubai Bank on August 30.

The formal offer to take over the club includes a deal to buy the assets of the club, including the freehold property and players contracts. Full details of payments to creditors are also made in the offer, as well as the repayment of £8.8m over a four year period to former players.

The offer letter also says “our client is willing to welcome the Portsmouth Supporters Trust to invest and buy shares in the club if they are so interested".

When approached by Arabian Business on Sunday, the consortium confirmed the offer had been made, and the necessary funds already placed in an escrow account.

However, Arabian Business also agreed to a request not to publish their names for fear of jeopardising the deal.

The troubled club has seen a number of owners in recent years, beginning with Sulaiman Al Fahim who first took over Portsmouth in 2009 when the team played in the Premier League. However, mounting debts saw the club change hands many times after, including twice being owned by businessman Balram Chainrai.

After being relegated and moving into administration, there have been growing fears that the club could face permanent closure without an immediate buyer.

Both Chanrai and the club’s supporters trust had been involved in buyout talks, but so far neither were available to raise the funds.

A member of the consortium told Arabian Business: “The offer is there, we have the money and we are ready to do this, and the offer shows we have the funds to really rebuild this club again. We can’t say anymore than that right now.”

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Posted by: syd

Please access the website of IIMSAM; and all the truthful claims will be out..including whereabouts of Remigio Maradona

Posted by: meltwaterfalls

hmmm... a Middle Eastern consortium that wishes to remain anonymous, reported on by a friend of Sulaiman Al Fahim, comes in at a time when Portpin's bid is not guaranteed to win? Can't see anything wrong with this bid.

I think I will leave you to draw your conclusions, but I guess this wouldn't be to out of place at Viviers on the Camber Docks.


Posted by: Northampton_was_better_than_Wembley

Ok, so they want to be anonymous but any chance of confirmation that Al Fahim is not involved (again)?

Posted by: Martin

Al Fahim has confirmed on Twitter and elsewhere that he IS at the centre of this bid.
Hasn't he done enough damage already?

Posted by: Dr Bill Thompson

Like the ID - you are right!

Posted by: PompeyBlue

It worries me that they wish to remain under the radar until a deal is done. They could well be another Chanrai stooge. As good as it sounds it COULD be, with mentions of 'rebuilding' and 'getting the club back where it should be', Id take 5 years of sensibly living within our means under the PST over this. Unless the first thing this consortium plans on doing is investing in the infrastructure I for one, am not interested. Im more excited by the prospect of being a community run club, than I am at the prospect of being a (Potentially) well off Arabian owned club

Posted by: malcolm noble

We all know that only a community solution will truly have the long term health of the club as its objective. Nowhere are the supporters saying that they want quick fix solutions or massively spending owners (who will be gone in a season or two). I don't see how anyone (FA included) could be wanting a more sensible approach. Yet, it seems that once again we are going to be taught the lesson that the fans come last. Remember, only the fans and the club cleaners are in it for the long term ... everyone else - managers, players, owners, trainers - move on to greener pastures, but the people who run the game refuse to recognise that flaw. My own view .... yes winning the FA cup was worth all the subsequent pain (I never expected to see that) but now let's have some sensible business management.

Posted by: harry

good one pete!

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