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Portsmouth could have new owner for the 5th time

Mon 8th Feb 2010 | Clubs Ownership

Portsmouth Football Club could be welcoming their fifth owner of a turbulent season.

Executive director Mark Jacob revealed that "two or three groups" have approached the board with the aim of taking over the Premier League's bottom club.

But Jacob admitted Pompey would need to take "every due care" to ensure the proposed owners really do have the funds necessary.

Hong Kong businessman Balram Chainrai seized control last week when he acquired Ali Al Faraj's 90per cent stake in the club.

"He was providing short-term funding for the club and that has been converted into equity.

"He is technically the new owner, all subject to the Premier League's fit and proper person test.

"It is a short-term, interim measure where he is taking control pending new investment or a potential new owner. He's come in to stabilise it on a short-term basis."

Jacob said Chainrai would be coming to London next week and was due to attend a meeting with Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.

But Chainrai's involvement could be fleeting.

"There are potentially two or three groups who have approached the board and Mr Chainrai with regard to the possibility of taking over.

"They are from different parts of the globe and some even more locally.

"It's got to the stage where the board will have to take every due care and consideration into the people who do come to the table with regard to proof of funds. We can't have any more short-termism at the club.

"There has been a lot of turmoil and everything has come to a head over the last week or so.

"It's quite delicate at the moment but we are confident a group will be in place very soon to move things forward to allow Mr Chainrai to step aside."

Portsmouth face a winding up petition on Wednesday but an appeal has been lodged and Jacob is confident it will prove successful.

He said: "The club has to be bigger than any individual. Bigger than myself, the board and any owner. We have to ensure it survives.

"I'm confident the club will not go into administration and I urge Portsmouth supporters to keep the faith. We've been down this road before and survived."

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