Jailed Vladimir Antonov and the infamous owners in turbulent Portsmouth times

Vladimir Antonov has been jailed for two-and-a-half years in Russia after pleading guilty to bank fraud.

Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 2:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 4:48 pm

He joins another former Pompey owner, Sulaiman Al Fahim, in being imprisoned during the last 13 months.

The duo were separately involved in a tumultuous two-and-a-half year period at Fratton Park which saw five owners and two administrations.

Here’s a look at Blues owners during that time...

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Sacha Gaydamak

January 2006-August 2009

Upon his arrival in January 2006 for an initial 50-per-cent stake, Gaydamak insisted the investment did not involve his father, Arkadi.

When the Gaydamaks were hit by a world-wide recession, the club was sold in August 2009.

In November 2015, Arkadi started a three-year prison term in France for tax evasion and money laundering.

Sulaiman Al Fahim

August 2009-October 2009

In February 2018, Al Fahim was sentenced to five years in a United Arab Emirates jail for stealing £5m from his wife to fund the purchase of Pompey.

Prosecutors said Al Fahim's wife discovered the money was missing after returns she had anticipated from a high-interest bank account opened in 2009 did not emerge.

Ali Al Faraj

October 2009-February 2010

Purportedly a Saudi Arabian billionaire, Al Faraj passed the Premier League’s Fit & Proper Person’s test despite never visiting the UK and nobody meeting him.

Nicknamed Al Mirage by Pompey fans, many doubted his existence, although the likelihood remains he was a front for others.

Balram Chainrai

February 2010, October 2010-June 2011, December 2011-February 2012

Associated with Pompey through his company Portpin, the Hong Kong money lender twice put the club into administration.

Ultimately, Chainrai opposed the decision of administrators PKF to sell the club to the Pompey Supporters’ Trust and refused to relinquish his ownership of Fratton Park.

In April 2013, the case was heard in the High Court, with Pompey under threat of liquidation should the Trust’s bid prove unsuccessful.

During proceedings, an out-of-court settlement was reached with Portpin – and the fans took ownership.

Vladimir Antonov (Chairman of Convers Sports Initiatives)

June 2011-November 2011

Vladimir Antonov has been jailed for two-and-a-half years in Russia after pleading guilty to bank fraud.

He was involved in a 150 million rouble (£1.75m) loan from Sovetsky bank to a front company, knowing that it would not be repaid.

Previously, in May 2015, he left the UK after charged by Lithuanian authorities with stripping £396m and £6m from Snoras bank.

In May 2016, London’s High Court ruled he owed a collapsed Latvian bank £65m having committed financial fraud.