Portsmouth FC takeover completed by Convers Sports

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Convers Sports Initiatives Statement

Convers Sports Initiatives plc, controlled by London-based Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov, has today completed the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Portsmouth Football Club following approval by The Football League.

London-based businessmen Vladimir Antonov and Roman Dubov, Chairman and President respectively of Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI), together with their partner Chris Akers, the former CEO of Leeds United and Sports Internet Group, have bought the Fratton Park club for an undisclosed sum from Hong Kong businessman Balu Chainrai, his brother Deepak and Levi Kushnir.

Mr Antonov, 35, Mr Dubov, 36, and Mr Akers, 46, manage the commercial development of a growing portfolio of sports teams, franchises and rights through CSI, including: the Russian Ferrari race team, the Spyker Squadron motorsports team and North One Sport, the global promoters of the World Rally Championship (WRC), the Isle of Man TT race series, the Velux 5 Oceans Race and Clipper Round the World sailing events.

In November 2010, CSI acquired a controlling interest in PowerPlay Golf the exciting new golf format which is now played in over 25 countries. In February 2011 CSI acquired North One Sport and in the same month purchased a majority stake in DBG Convers, a specialist in developing social new media solutions for sports and entertainment brands and personalities including world heavyweight boxer David Haye. In March 2011 CSI secured a 65% share of Executive Sport Limited, the parent company of the high profile "Leaders in Football" conference. In May 2011 CSI purchased a majority stake in Sports International Ltd, the holding company of popular online platform SPORTPOST.com.

Commenting on the Portsmouth FC acquisition Mr Antonov said: ?We have conducted extensive due diligence and held detailed negotiations with a number of clubs in the English Premier League, Championship, League One and Scottish Premier League over the past twelve months. We ultimately selected Portsmouth Football Club because of its history, loyal fan base and its potential to return to the Premier League.

?The supporters are amongst the most passionate in the game and that gives the business a strong foundation to build on.

?We look forward to working with all those connected with Portsmouth Football Club including the management, players, employees, and sponsors as well as developing close ties with the City of Portsmouth and the community.

?We would also like to thank Mr Chainrai and his executive management team for their stewardship of Portsmouth Football Club through one of the most difficult times in its history, pre and post-Administration last year."


A Message From The Former Owners

We are delighted to hand over Portsmouth Football Club to Convers Sports Group headed by Vladimir Antonov, Roman Dubov and Chris Akers. We believe that Convers Sports Group will lead Portsmouth Football Club into a bright future.

As we committed to do, we have taken this club during the worst times and brought it to safe grounds from near extinction. The club was going through a very difficult period and now is being handed over to a strong, able and willing group.

We would like to thank Steve Cotterill, the manager, and his team, David Lampitt, the chief executive, and his management team and all the club?s staff for the hard work and sleepless nights in bringing the club to where it is now.

We would also like to thank all the club?s supporters including its commercial partners ? without their incredible support we would not have reached this point.

We wish the club and its new owners the best of luck and great success on and off the pitch.

Play up Pompey!

Balu Chainrai, Levi Kushnir and Deepak Chainrai (Source)

Well, true to his work Chainrai kept us going and sold us on, rather than having us liquidated.

Here's hoping for some stability on the roller coaster that is Pompey!

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Chris Akers was involved with leeds - ugh oh....

Vladimir Antonov largest shareholder in Bankas Snoras (Look on Renault Lotus car and you might see them) - The UK FSA won't allow the bank to operate in the UK, calling Antonov dodgy, the bank. Has a stake in Spyker/SAAB Hardly brimming with cash considering a SAAB car production line halted because suppliers weren't getting paid.

Roman Dubov seems to hang about with Antonov when it comes to football clubs, involved in bids with Bournemouth and Rangers.

To be honest, I'm not expecting that much, well I am expecting things to go up **** creek again.

So then lets start the countdown again till he points to a plot of land and says "this will be our new stadium" then spend a year on it for it to be reject, then say we're going to redev Fratton Park and then for it to go wrong again, sell players, change hands a couple of times in a short period, go into admin, then start the cycle again.

Fool proof plan!

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