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Sun 9 Sep 2012 07:21 PM

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MidEast investors launch $20m bid for Portsmouth

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

MidEast investors launch $20m bid for Portsmouth
Portsmouth Football Club seeks bankruptcy protection

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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Callum Metcalfe 7 years ago

Well, well, well....... Another turn in the Pomey roller coaster. Lets just hope this time its for real. The city and club deserves a better serving than what it's had to deal with over recent times! PLAY UP POMPEY

Pete Conway 7 years ago

Dont touch it with a bargepole as they have tried to bankrupt all investors since about 1945 when they started going downhill after the highlight of there history holding the FA cup for six years because it was not contested

Lee 7 years ago

Lets hope that they are the real deal this time, do not put more debt on the club, and if they took over it is ESSENTIAL that they involve the PST.

Bazza 7 years ago

I bet it is something to do with Chanrai or Portpin!! (again)

DAVE 7 years ago

pompey are a good investment we have saudi arabia player Mazin Alhuthayfi playing in our academy . please make us a great ENGLISH PREMIER CLUB AGAIN.

Pompey Dave 7 years ago

Wow sounds like another twist in my clubs very interesting life! A message to the investors - you would be buying a fantastic club with real supporters who follow Pompey through thick and thin. Once you've experienced Fratton Park there's no turning back:-) Good luck and I hope you're genuine and please take care of my wonderful club. Pompey Dave.
Good win tonight too, up the up the league we go ...!

Penton 7 years ago

Well Mr Conway, just shows how much you know about the history of the Club! The highlight was the back to back League wins in the late forties and early fifty's, Not one measly Cup win.

Neal Tuffs 7 years ago

i think you will find the highlight was winning back to back league championships in 1949 1950 so get your facts right pete !

Geoff Sole 7 years ago

Who are "they" you refer to? Also, you might have more credibility if you could spell the word "their". Pompey were league champions in 1949 and 1950, FA Cup winners in 1939, 2008 and FA Cup finalists in 2010. They have been up and down over the years since 1898 but they will always survive with their great supporters.

Dave 7 years ago

Wow jealously gets you no where, highlight is winning the Fa cup back then, shows how much this guy knows about our club, we were champions of England two years in a row which eclipses most clubs achievements around the world, this club and fans deserve to be back safe and sound and back to where it belongs in higher leagues