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Last Updated: Friday, 6 January 2006, 12:41 GMT
Gaydamak targets Pompey survival
Alexandre Gaydamak
New Portsmouth co-owner Alexandre Gaydamak says his first ambition at Fratton Park is to help the club stay in the Premiership.

The 29-year-old Russian businessman was unveiled as partner to Pompey chairman Milan Mandaric at a news conference.

Gaydamak said: "I'm thrilled and happy to be one of the co-owners, I'm looking forward to a great future at this club.

"At the moment we must try and stay in the Premiership. After this season we will then talk about the next step."

Gaydamak will have a 50% stake in the Fratton Park club and will be an equal partner with Mandaric.

Mandaric hailed the dawn of a new era for Portsmouth and said he thought Gaydamak could take the club on to the next level.

"It is an exciting and important day for our football club - there is now two of us instead of one," said Mandaric.

"Alex is a tremendous young man with great enthusiasm for football and Portsmouth and it's a great pleasure to have him on board.

"Sport is a business, unless you have silly money to throw at it, and we will continue to treat it in such a way.

"My mission here was to take the club into the Premiership, establish it there and re-build the stadium - I believe he can help me complete my mission.

"It's not easy to find good investors. We are extremely lucky to have such a young, enthusiastic guy at our club."

Gaydamak's father Arcadi is the subject of an international arrest warrant in relation to his alleged part in an oil-for-arms deal to Angola in 1994, although he denies any wrongdoing.

There's no relationship between my father and Portsmouth. I don't need his money to do my business
Alexandre Gaydamak

But Alexandre moved to reassure Pompey fans that his investment was purely a solo project.

"I believe I'll pass any tests by the Premier League over my suitability," he added. "I'm doing my own business.

"There's no relationship between my father and Portsmouth. I don't need his money to do my own business.

"It's my money, money I've made from 10 years of working. I was working in finance and real estate in Russia, that's my work."

Portsmouth also unveiled new record 4.1m signing Benjani Mwaruwari but Gaydamak refused to say how much money boss Harry Redknapp would be given to spend.

"I met Harry on Thursday and had a pleasant conversation but everything we do will be decided by the whole management," said Gaydamak.

"We are discussing the transfer policy with the management. You will see results in time."


WATCH AND LISTEN
News conference: Portsmouth FC chairman Milan Mandaric and Alexandre Gaydamak



SEE ALSO
Redknapp pledges to spend wisely
03 Jan 06 |  Portsmouth
No concerns about Pompey takeover
04 Jan 06 |  Portsmouth


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