Banks seek assurances from prospective Pompey owner Fahim
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