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.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.