Pompey deal is moving forward, slowly but surely

Roman Dubov
Roman Dubov
On-loan Wolves midfielder Connor Ronan impressed against Scunthorpe Picture: Joe Pepler

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THE Pompey takeover deal is a step closer to being done.

Fears had been raised that Convers Sports Initiatives were on the brink of walking away from the Fratton Park negotiating table after stories appeared in the Russian media.

But now Roman Dubov, one of the men behind the Convers deal, has said it is proceeding.

He told The News: ‘We’re still in negotiations, still in conversation, there are some commercial points still to agree.

‘We hope it will be sorted out as soon as possible.’

The News revealed in February that CSI was interested in buying Portsmouth Football Club.

The deal has been moving forward steadily, but slowly, and CSI, which has millionaire banker Vladimir Antonov as its chairman, has already passed the Football League’s Fit and Proper Persons Test.

Since February, CSI has bought North One Sport, which promotes the World Rally Championships; Executive Sport Ltd, a networking event organiser for the sports world; and off-road car manufacturer Bowler.

It has also launched a money-lending service and Mr Antonov has been personally involved in bailing out Saab as well as selling one of his banks.

The CSI team has also brought its company, PowerPlay Golf, on to a world stage after announcing it wants to see a tournament in the sport similar to 20/20 in cricket.

Those investments could explain why the Portsmouth deal is taking so long to complete.

And Pompey chief executive David Lampitt said: ‘I think the time taken for the deal to happen is to do with the complexity of what we’re dealing with – it’s not a straight-forward process.’

The News understands that it is unlikely any new players will come in until the deal is completed, as the current owners may not want to make promises on CSI’s behalf, while CSI cannot act until the paperwork is signed.