By Andy Sambidge
Administrators say Portsmouth Supporters Trust has been chosen as preferred bidder
A Middle East bid to takeover troubled English football club Portsmouth has failed after administrators nominated Portsmouth Supporters Trust as the preferred bidder.
Investors from the Middle East had tabled a $20.4m bid which would have left the ailing club debt free.
The offer to buy the club was made on September 4, via chartered accountants Born & Co and the proposal included buying “the assets of Portsmouth Football Club… This is to include, inter alia, the freehold property and the players contracts”.
But administrators PFK said in a statement issued on Thursday: "After extensive discussions over the past few weeks, we have today nominated Portsmouth Supporters Trust as the preferred bidder for Portsmouth Football Club.
"We will be working with the Trust, the Football League and the Professional Footballers Association to conclude the sale of the Club as soon as possible."
The club has seen a number of owners in recent years, beginning with UAE-based 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.
The club is currently playing in League One, the third tier of England's football pyramid, and during the most recent close season was forced to offload all of its senior players in order to stay afloat.
No proof of funds for this mysterious Middle Eastern bid, and now no mention of al Fahim either. Wonder what could possibly have happened!
all power to the Pompey Supporters Trust
How dare Portsmouth FC not approve a bid cleared by the Bank of Anil Bhoyrul ??? AB of AB should be appointed the next governor of the Bank of England.