Pompey’s new owners will know game ‘inside out’

ALL CHANGE? Pompey could be sold again in the coming days
ALL CHANGE? Pompey could be sold again in the coming days
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Sol Campbell on his return to Fratton Park in December. Picture: Joe Pepler

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POMPEY’S new owners will have long-term views for success, according to the man tasked with finding the club a buyer.

Andrew Andronikou, joint-administrator of parent company Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI), said a meeting will be held with the new owners today.

It’s hoped that negotiations will be finalised with the buyer during this meeting and that the deal will be far enough advanced for an application to be made to the Football League to pass the Fit and Proper Person Test for club ownership.

Mr Andronikou hopes the result of the test will be known in seven to 10 days, but warns it could be take up to three weeks.

He is not prepared to reveal the new backers’ identity until then, but has said they will know football ‘inside out’ and have experience in the game.

‘I have been told not to give any information away regarding the purchaser and I have to respect that,’ he said.

‘The purchaser has the ability to take the club forward and bring financial stability.

‘It will not just make investment in the short term, there will be long-term views for the success of the club.

‘The potential new owners are coming in with views about where they can take the club and where they want to go.’

The club has been searching for new owners after CSI was placed into administration in November. Former chairman Vladimir Antonov, CSI co-founder, stepped down following allegations of a £250m fraud at Lithuanian bank AB Bankas Snoras.

Speculation has been rife among fans over the identities of new investors after The News previously revealed owners could soon be in place.

Rumours on internet message boards claimed former Hull City chairman Paul Duffen was behind a bid, but Mr Andronikou dismissed this.

He added potential owners had to prove their intentions and have a clear background.

‘We are going to delve into their past as much as we can and hope they are going to have as clean a record as you can expect for a football club,’ said Mr Andronikou.

‘Unfortunately with CSI, they met the financial criteria and other criteria needed but six months down the line they found themselves in a situation we never would have thought would happen.

‘We are dealing with contracts at the moment and have a few details to iron out. We are hoping it’s not a long process.’