Twice bankrupted and banned over financial dealings - figure from Portsmouth, Watford, Bolton Wanderers and Charlton Athletic past resurfaces with Birmingham City takeover bid

He was one of the swathe of figures hailed as potential Pompey saviours in the club’s time of need.

By Jordan Cross
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 11:53 am
Updated Thursday, 12th May 2022, 12:03 pm

It was nearly a decade ago former Watford owner Laurence Bassini submitted a bid to buy the Blues as they fought for their existence.

Bassini along with the likes of Rob Lloyd, Tom Lever and Joseph Cala to name a few, were all individuals or members of consortiums touted to save Pompey from going out of existence across two periods of administration.

In the case of Bassini, his offer emerged in September 2012 - but by the following March he’d been found guilty by an independent disciplinary commission of misconduct and dishonesty over financial dealings in his time at Vicarage Road.

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This led to a three-year ban from being involved in a position of authority at any club. By June 2014, Bassini had been declared bankrupt – for the second time.

Now he has once again emerged - this time being linked with a £35m takeover of Championship side Birmingham City.

The Daily Mail have reported West Ham and former Birmingham owner, David Sullivan, is funding the bid and would regain control of the St Andrews outfit if Bassini defaulted on payment.

The sale of Birmingham is being handled by another figure familiar to Pompey fans in Keith Harris.

Laurence Bassini is trying to buy Birmingham City. (Photo by Kate McShane/Getty Images)

Harris has brokered takeovers at the likes of Manchester City, Aston Villa and West Ham.

He was part of a consortium who tried a late Blues takeover bid in Feburary 2013, shortly before the new era of Pompey community ownership was ushered in

Other members of the group were Pascal Najadi, whose father was assassinated in Kuala Lumpur in 2013 and vet Alan Hitchins, who saw one of his companies liquidated in 2015.

Harris’ bid to buy Pompey was rejected by the EFL, with the league confirming they would only deal with the Pompey Supporters’ Trust.

In the case of Bassini, after being declared bankrupt for a second time 2014 he failed in a takeover bid at Bolton in 2019, with reports he’d repeatedly failed to show proof of funds to the EFL.

He was then linked with buying Charlton who one of his companies tried to have wound up in February, before the latest Birmingham takeover surfaced after first being mooted last November.

News of a Bassini’s Sullivan-funded bid has not gone down well with fans of the Championship club, with one branding the branding the prospect of him seeing a takeover through to a conclusion as a ‘disaster’.