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Pompey owner search helped by investment bank

ADMINISTRATORS of Pompey’s parent company have recruited an investment bank to help find the club a new owner.

Andrew Andronikou, who was appointed as joint-administrator of Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI), confirmed Seymour Pierce will help sell Pompey as a ‘going concern’.

The chairman of Seymour Pierce is Keith Harris and his firm have acted in advisory roles during the takeovers of other football clubs, including Chelsea and Newcastle United.

Mr Andronikou, of UHY Hacker Young, told The News this week short-term funding is in the club but a new investor needs to be found by January or February.

Pompey were left searching for their sixth owner in just over two years after it was revealed CSI had been placed into administration.

Vladimir Antonov, CSI’s main investor, stood down as Pompey chairman after appearing at an extradition hearing over allegations of a £250m fraud at Lithuanian bank AB Bankas Snoras.

The uncertainty surrounding the club’s future has led to disillusioned fans reforming campaign group SOS Pompey.

The group was disbanded in June under the belief the club finally found owners with ‘the right intentions’.

But a statement issued by SOS Pompey said: ‘’When we disbanded in June, it was in the firm belief that the Football League had passed our new owners as fit and proper, and actions on and off the field in the last five months had led us to believe that CSI had the right intentions for our great club.

‘It must be stressed that, at present, Pompey are not in administration and (chief executive) David Lampitt and all the staff should be applauded for the work they have done in stabilising the club off the pitch.

‘However we must stress that to do nothing, and hope for the best, is not in the best actions of the fans.’

Brendon Bone, of SOS Pompey, questioned the Football League’s decision to deem the club’s former chairman Mr Antonov, as a suitable owner.

He said: ‘If the Financial Services Authority turned down Snoras bank as not fit and proper to deal in this country, then why didn’t the Football League?’

A spokesman for the Football League confirmed the club will be discussed by officials on December 8, adding ‘it is too early to say what will happen’.

Pompey chief executive David Lampitt is due to attend a fans’ conference at Fratton Park before Saturday’s match with Coventry City.

 

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