Cala to meet with Football League over Pompey deal

IN THE RUNNING Joseph Cala, inset, says he's still in line to take over Pompey
IN THE RUNNING Joseph Cala, inset, says he's still in line to take over Pompey
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POMPEY’S prospective new owner Joseph Cala claims he will be quizzed as part of the Football League’s fit and proper persons test today.

Sicilian American businessman has told The News he is ‘95 per cent sure’ to take over at Fratton Park.

Joseph Cala

Joseph Cala

The 50-year-old, who founded an underwater hotel firm, said discussions with former owner Balram Chainrai’s company, Portpin, over future securities are holding up the completion of a takeover deal.

Football League officials will scrutinise Mr Cala’s credentials to take over Pompey and his business background via a conference call today, according to the entrepreneur.

He claims he sent documents to the organisation last week, but the league wants to quiz him further on his business history.

The Football League declined to comment.

Mr Cala said: ‘I am still in line to buy the club – I am not going anywhere.

‘The ball is in my court. The issue is with Joseph Cala and Portpin and it’s about protection for them and for me too.

‘We will find a solution but I am not blaming anyone.

‘I am the one trying to be as fast as possible.

‘The last three or four days have been out of my control, the train has slowed down.’

Mr Cala revealed that if he takes over the club he plans to merge Pompey with a company in the USA.

Mr Cala said the merged company will operate as Pompey.

But he added he could not legally disclose the private firm he plans to merge with.

His prospective takeover continues to leave doubts with some fans.

Bill Gillon, of fans’ website Pompey Online said: ‘The prospect of Joseph Cala taking over fills a lot of people with dread.

‘What has been reported about his plans for the club seems a bit out there.

‘He is not the type we should be looking at.

‘We need someone who can stabilise the club first and foremost and put us on the right footing.’

Another name linked with a takeover bid is former Bad Company front man and Pompey fan Brian Howe.

On a Facebook profile page, believed to be that of Mr Howe, he said: ‘For me to own the club and do right by it would be an honour to me.

‘I will make no false promises, but if it can be done it will be.’