Banks seek as­sur­ances from prospec­tive Pom­pey owner Fahim

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FOOTBALL - By PAUL KELSO

PORTSMOUTH have used pro­ceeds from the sale of Glen John­son and Peter Crouch and the first in­stall­ment of Sky money for the new sea­son to re­duce their debts.

The club have re­duced their out­stand­ing bank debt to less than £20-mil­lion, us­ing the £25-mil­lion pro­ceeds from the trans­fer of their two most highly-val­ued play­ers.

They are also thought to have used some of the £13-mil­lion re­ceived from the League last week as the first in­stall­ment on their broad­cast in­come for this sea­son.

The pay­ments came af­ter the club faced se­vere pres­sure from their banks, Stan­dard Bank and Bar­clays, to re­duce their debt. Last year the club’s com­bined bank debt stood at more than £44-mil­lion, with around £27-mil­lion of that owed to Stan­dard Bank.

It is un­der­stood that Stan­dard Bank is not will­ing to trans­fer its loans to prospec­tive owner Su­laiman Al Fahim, mean­ing the Dubai-based busi­ness­man will have to find fresh fi­nance.

Bar­clays is thought to be will­ing to re­main in­volved in the club, but will re­quire guar­an­tees and as­sur­ances from the new owner.

The banks had be­come ner­vous about their in­vest­ment as un­cer­tainty over the club’s ex­po­sure height­ened. Fahim is yet to com­plete his takeover from Sacha Gay­damak.

Fahim has agreed to take on the club’s out­stand­ing debt, which in­cludes a £13-mil­lion per­sonal loan from Gay­damak, but is yet to pro­vide the fi­nanc­ing re­quired. Gay­damak may be will­ing to de­fer re­pay­ment of his loan, but the deal is de­pen­dent on Fahim bring­ing fresh fi­nance into the club.

A spokesman for Fahim said this week he was un­able to com­ment on the tim­ing of the takeover, but con­firmed that talks were con­tin­u­ing.

He said Fahim would at­tend the open­ing game against Ful­ham at Frat­ton Park on Satur­day as a sign of his com­mit­ment to the club. – The Tele­graph

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.