Late last year I discussed the implications of the financial difficulties which Portsmouth was facing.
On Thursday, Hong Kong based businessman Balram Chainrai took over the ailing Premiership side as he exercised a clause in the loan agreement he had made with the previous club head. Turns out Chainrai let Portsmouth borrow 17 million pounds, and when the money wasn’t repaid he simply became the majority shareholder in an instant by taking control of 90% of the clubs shares. While this money helped Portsmouth avoid going into administration late in 2009, it did mean that Chainrai became the clubs FOURTH owner this season. Mr. Chainrai said the move was necessary as player wages had been delayed four times during the season, and that new leadership was needed in the club.
However, the Portsmouth hot potato game doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon, as Chainrai told the media this morning that he has no interest in keeping the club. That’s right, he’s already looking for new owners to take over the club from him. Things aren’t quite that simple though, the club is still in bad financial shape, and there seems to be a mounting legal challenge to his takeover. All of that said, Chainrai may indeed be the man to save the club. He is pushing towards clearing up the clubs bad debt and standing, and making it financially stable again so that it will be more attractive to new investors. Mr. Chainrai himself says that he knows nothing about running a Premier League club, but so far it looks like he is doing a better job than the previous three owners did this year.