Portsmouth out of administration

LONDON - Portsmouth have come out of administration after being sold to a company controlled by their former owner Balram Chainrai, the English Championship club's administrator told Reuters on Sunday.

"The sale has been completed to a new company principally owned by (Hong Kong businessman) Balram Chainrai and (his business partner) Levi Kushnir," said administrator Andrew Andronikou, a partner in the firm of UHY Hacker Young.

"The football club has exited administration and been freed from the shackles of its past. They (new owners) have taken on the liabilities of the CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement)."

The administrators issued a statement on the club's website late on Saturday confirming the sale a day after Portsmouth had warned they could go into liquidation.

It said the administrators "are pleased to announce that negotiations between the various parties concerning the sale of the club have now been satisfactorily concluded.

"Accordingly, the club has now been formally sold by the Joint Administrators, Messrs UHY Hacker Young, and will continue to trade outside of Administration."

Key creditor Sacha Gaydamak, who is owed 2.2 million pounds by the club, helped pave the way for the sale having earlier issued a statement saying he planned to sign a deal that would ensure Portsmouth did not go out of business.

"Contrary to some reports I fully intended to sign the deal on Friday and had it not been changed at the last minute I would have," former owner Gaydamak said on Saturday.

"I hope this draws to an end the unfortunate uncertainty surrounding the club. I wish everyone involved in the club well for the future," he added.


Portsmouth's administrators acknowledged the part Gaydamak had played in helping the club to survive.

"The Administrators would like to thank Mr Gaydamak for his cooperation and assistance in securing the future of the club and acknowledges that he has played an integral part in delivering its survival," their statement added.

Portsmouth, who were relegated from the Premier League and reached the FA Cup final last season, said on Friday they were likely to go out of business after a deal with Gaydamak to remove them from administration had been scuppered.

The south-coast club said a deal to exit administration had been agreed by the new owners, the administrators, the Football League and the creditors but was then made "impossible to complete" by Gaydamak.

The Russian businessman, who owned the club between 2006 and 2009 and celebrated an FA Cup final triumph in 2008, sold Portsmouth to Sulaiman Al Fahim after which the club changed hands several times.

Earlier on Saturday, Portsmouth won 2-1 at Hull City to climb to 13th in the 24-team Championship.