Time to stop the posturing and get takeover deal done

Vladimir Antonov
Vladimir Antonov
Share this article

COMMENT: A business community that is simply the best

Have your say

Is the Pompey takeover on the brink of collapse?

Is the latest ray of hope to finally move this club forward going to be plunged into darkness?

Or are we witnessing the most recent round of brinkmanship from the never-ending list of protagonists to emerge in the Fratton drama, and suggest they are the white knights to allow fans to dream of stability once again?

The past few days have seen the ownership saga surrounding the club gather significant pace.

After football fixer Keith Harris’ surprise revelation, the Convers Sports Initiative group were about to assume control nearly three weeks ago, there has been a deathly silence on the issue.

Harris’ suggestion quite understandably whipped up supporters desperately keen to see the back of the Chainrai era.

The suggestion from within the walls of PO4, however, was the strongest pretenders to the Fratton throne yet were still ‘weeks away’ from their ascension.

The Football League’s fit and proper persons test had been negotiated but the fact proof of funds hadn’t been shown at that stage told of the distance left to travel.

The deafening silence since then was broken on Saturday, with the first whispers a £17m takeover was close from people up the Pompey chain of command.

Within 24 hours, Harris was making more noise on Sky Sports, but this time it tallied with what was being intimated elsewhere.

So, fans were finally preparing to rejoice. The Russian second-coming was imminent. Welcome Messrs Antonov and Dubov.

Ah, but this is Portsmouth isn’t it, and we are cynical round these parts for a reason.

And so it proved, as Dubov used his Facebook page (yes, I did say Facebook) to dismiss talk the deal was done and speak of his frustrations at dealing with Chainrai and Levi Kushnir ahead of the Burnley clash.

By later that afternoon, the Russians had progressed to using sports websites to deliver their bombshell, the takeover was heading into meltdown.

A £3m hike in payment from Kushnir and Chainrai was cited as the reason for that. Cue a royal blue-tinted messageboard and social networking frenzy.

With goodwill to the current Pompey owners already in short supply, the latest news simply served to harden a resentment towards them which went from simmering to boiling off the back of the recent season-ticket fiasco.

Chainrai and Kushnir, despite the odd laughable sentimental suggestion, have never hidden their desire to get out of town as soon as possible.

But, if the late hike in demands is accurate, they could now be shutting off one of the few realistic avenues of escape left.

Of course, CSI are aware of this and the fact the current regime aren’t exactly up with there with Dickens, Brunel and Conan Doyle as icons of the city – and can use that as leverage.

After the Pompey tyre was kicked out of any recognisable shape by the likes of Rob Lloyd, the Levers and Paul Duffen, we are told the Russians are the realest deals seen since the club exited administration.

If that is the case, and with there hardly being a stream of rich benefactors lined up to assume control, it’s in the interests of everyone to quit the posturing and get the takeover done.