Would-be owner no stranger to Pompey

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Bradley Lethbridge in action for Pompey Academy against AFC Bouremouth. Picture: Charlotte Jeffes

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POTENTIAL new Pompey owner Keith Harris is no stranger to the club.

The club’s administrators PKF confirmed this morning that Mr Harris has submitted an offer for Pompey with Pascal Najdaj, deputy chairman of the investment bank AIAK Group, and professional investor Alan Hitchins.

Mr Harris, who is the chairman of investment bankers Seymour Pierce, has given the job of finding Pompey new owners and helped find its former parent company Converse Sports Initiatives (CSI) in 2011.

He emerged again in December 2011 after Andrew Andronikou, who was appointed joint-administrator of CSI following its collapse, confirmed Mr Harris’ Seymour Pierce was ushered in to help sell the club.

In 2010 Mr Harris was part of the Red Knights – a group of wealthy investors who made an unsuccessful attempt to takeover Manchester United.

Seymour Pierce has acted as advisers to a string of football clubs including Chelsea, Manchester City, Newcastle United and West Ham United.

However the firm is on the brink with a company called Cantor Fitzgerald in talks that could secure Seymour Pierce’s future.

The Financial Times reports Mr Harris’ firm has been ‘urgently’ seeking funding since financial regulators blocked investment from Ukrainian businessman Denis Gorbunenko.

Mr Gorbunenko lent around £3m to Seymour Pierce before the Financial Services Authority (FSA) blocked him injecting more cash into the company, the FT reports.

Mr Harris served as chairman of the Football League for two years between 2000 and 2002.