POMPEY fans expressed their frustration after it was revealed the Football League’s limited budget restricts investigations of new club owners.
Former Pompey owner Vladimir Antonov was arrested in November over allegations of asset stripping at Lithuanian bank AB Bankas Snoras – despite passing the authority’s fit and proper persons test.
But league chairman Greg Clarke said the authority has a budget of £3m, which is 200 times less than the Financial Services Authority.
The FSA blocked Mr Antonov’s attempts to bring Bankas Snoras into the UK.
Speaking on Radio 5 Live’s Sportweek, Mr Clarke said: ‘What we can’t do is make judgements we cannot substantiate in a court of law, because if we are taken to judicial review and we are found to have materially damaged someone by a process we cannot substantiate through fact, we could be taking on some horrendous risks which could potentially bankrupt the Football League.’
Bill Gillon, owner of Pompey Online, said: ‘If the league cannot afford to carry out the right checks then the test is not worth the paper it’s written on.’
Bob Beech, of SOS Pompey, said: ‘Any prospective owner of a football club should put a bond up to pay for a proper background search.
‘If they have nothing to hide, they will be happy to.’