CSI take control of Pompey
PORTSMOUTH have another set of new owners after Convers Sports Initiatives, controlled by London-based Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov, confirmed it had bought the Fratton Park outfit following approval by the Football League.
The group, which includes former Leeds United chief executive Chris Akers, already own a growing list of sports teams, franchises and rights.
They are the global promoters of the world rally championship, amongst other things, have a controlling interest in PowerPlay Golf - the new golf format played in over 25 countries - and in March this year secured a 65% share of Executive Sport Limited, the parent company of the high-profile “Leaders in Football” conference.
Pompey fans can only hope they can bring some much-needed stability to the Fratton Park outfit after a period of turbulence so bad they ended up going into administration.
Under the guidance of Steve Cotterill, they at least managed to retain their npower Championship status this term after appearing destined to drop straight into League One given they started the season with hardly any players.
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However, after completing his purchase for an undisclosed sum from Hong Kong businessman Balu Chainrai, 36-year-old Antonov can only see good times ahead.
“We have conducted extensive due diligence and held detailed negotiations with a number of clubs in the English Premier League, Championship, League One and Scottish Premier League over the past twelve months,” he said.
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“We ultimately selected Portsmouth Football Club because of its history, loyal fan base and its potential to return to the Premier League.
“The supporters are amongst the most passionate in the game and that gives the business a strong foundation to build on.
“We look forward to working with all those connected with Portsmouth Football Club including the management, players, employees and sponsors, as well as developing close ties with the city of Portsmouth and the community.
“We would also like to thank Mr Chainrai and his executive management team for their stewardship of Portsmouth Football Club through one of the most difficult times in its history, pre- and post-administration.”