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Portsmouth sale approved by Football League

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Pompey problems 'not solved overnight'

Portsmouth have been sold to Balram Chainrai, Levi Kushnir and Deepak Chainrai after a deal was struck to allow the club to exit administration.

A financial agreement with former owner Alexandre Gaydamak paved the way for the club's sale, which has been approved by the Football League.

"It's a significant moment involved for everyone involved at the club," said Pompey chief executive David Lampitt.

Balram Chainrai added: "We're not going to make any rash promises."

The Football League has lifted the transfer embargo imposed on Pompey, although all deals will require the League's approval, while the club must also submit monthly financial reports for monitoring.

606: DEBATE
Oaktowers

On Friday the club had claimed they were on the brink of ceasing trading because Gaydamak had refused to sign a deal to sell to Balram Chainrai.

But Gaydamak said late on Saturday that a new agreement had been reached.

Balram Chainrai, a Hong Kong-based businessman, became Pompey's fourth owner inside a year when he assumed control of the club in February 2010 before putting them in administration soon after.

"We are very pleased to have finally completed the sale process," added Balram Chainrai.

"We look forward to working with the senior executive team and the football manager, and to be part of the rebuilding process of this historic club."

"We need to stabilise and Levi and I will be taking time to get a closer understanding of the business so that we can ensure the club is taken forward in the right way."

The saga surrounding the ownership of Portsmouth, who won the FA Cup in 2008, began in August 2009 when Gaydamak sold the club to Sulaiman Al Fahim.

Two months later Ali Al Faraj become the new owner when he acquired 90% of the shares from Al Fahim.

Three weeks after that Balram Chainrai lent Al Faraj £17m but the off-pitch turbulence continued as Avram Grant replaced Paul Hart as manager, the club failed several times to pay its players on time and HM Revenue & Customs issued a winding-up order over tax issues.

In February 2010 Balram Chainrai seized the club's assets before placing the club in administration with debts estimated to be about £120m.

The club subsequently had nine points deducted for going into administration, were relegated from the Premier League and in June appointed a new boss in Steve Cotterill.

In August Portsmouth survived an attempt by HM Revenue & Customs to block a Company Voluntary Agreement, which could have prevented the club exiting administration.

As recently as Friday the club claimed it appeared "likely to close" after a row over £2.2m owed to Gaydamak saw talks break down.

We're now in a position where we can look to move forward

Pompey chief executive David Lampitt

However, on Saturday it was announced Portsmouth would pay Gaydamak £2.5m in instalments over the next five years and the saga was finally concluded late on Saturday when Balram Chainrai resumed control of the club.

The club's administrators confirmed a deal worth 20p in the pound to unsecured creditors has also been agreed.

The south coast outfit currently lie 13th in the Championship, the second tier of English football.

"It is a huge relief to come out of administration because the future of the club has been in jeopardy for a long time," added Lampitt on the club's official website.

"We're now in a position where we can look to move forward on a more stable financial footing.

"This has been an extremely tough journey and the legacy of past events at the club means we still have a long way to travel and a number of battles to fight. "



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see also
Portsmouth future looks assured
23 Oct 10 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth 'likely to close down'
22 Oct 10 |  Portsmouth
Hull 1-2 Portsmouth
23 Oct 10 |  Championship
Pompey plans blocked by League
14 Oct 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey anxiety over delay to sale
30 Sep 10 |  Portsmouth
Al Fahim completes Pompey buy-out
26 Aug 09 |  Portsmouth
Gaydamak ready to sell Portsmouth
07 Dec 08 |  Portsmouth


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