Pompey owners’ London HQ

113457-0023 ROMAN DUBOV (EJ) MRW 30/9/2011''// all pix taken at the London offices of Roman Dubov at No 6 Lombard Street London - MRW // '''Roman Dubov's current London office base is here ''Pictures: Malcolm Wells (113457-0023)
113457-0023 ROMAN DUBOV (EJ) MRW 30/9/2011''// all pix taken at the London offices of Roman Dubov at No 6 Lombard Street London - MRW // '''Roman Dubov's current London office base is here ''Pictures: Malcolm Wells (113457-0023)
Conor Chaplin could start againsyt Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Plymouth: pre-match talking points

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THE Convers Sports Initiatives office is housed within 6 Lombard Street in London, home of Bankas Snoras, which is part of Convers Group.

It’s a grand building on a busy street in the City of London, but as soon as the heavy doors closed behind me all was calm efficiency.

Photographer Malcolm Wells and I were ushered into a plush meeting room, complete with large flatscreen TV with video conferencing facilities and a plan of the new Convers office, being built near London’s famous Gherkin building.

We don’t have long to wait, as Mr Dubov comes in, greets us, and asks us if we would like a cup of tea and how we take it.

And that brief moment was an introduction to the man himself – polite, perhaps a little apprehensive, and given to flashes of a self-deprecating humour that is like water in the humourless desert that was the previous administration.

He’s a man who is obviously passionate about sport. He takes pride in telling us how his first visit to Fratton Park was in 1999, witnessing Manchester City getting relegated to Division One.

He says that sport is in his blood, and how he has been to almost every football stadium in the UK with his two sons and daughter.

And he says, in a quiet and polite way, that there was no one thing about Pompey that prompted CSI to buy it, but that it was a combination of factors – not least the fans.

One of the most interesting things that struck me was how he said his staff collect all the Twitter and Facebook mentions of CSI so he knows what they’re thinking and what they’re saying.

Mr Dubov and CSI may have a reputation for not speaking to the fans – but the fans should know they’re always speaking to him.

And that’s the refreshing thing about him. While Balram Chainrai would always claim the fans were being unfair to him, how they didn’t understand how hard things were for him, Mr Dubov silently listens.

And whatever the next five years might bring, I get the feeling there are big changes in store.