Doubtover Pom­pey backer

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport - BY SI­MON GRIVER AND JAMES MARTIN

AN Is­raeli busi­ness­man re­port­edly in­ter­ested in back­ing Portsmouth has had three of his busi­nesses placed in re­ceiver­ship.

L e v i Kush­nir a t t e nded P o r t - smouth’s Premier League match at Hull City last week­end as a guest of Ahmed Al Faraj, brother of Portsmouth’s lat­est owner Ali Al Faraj, lead­ing to spec­u­la­tion that Kush­nir and Hong Kong-based busi­ness­man Bal­ram Chain­rai were about to loan cash-strapped Portsmouth £15m to help pay off their debts.

How­ever, the 56-year-old Kush­nir saw his hold­ings in Ki­tal Hold­ings and two other com­pa­nies that he owns placed in re­ceiver­ship last week af­ter a Tel Aviv District Court agreed to the re­quest of his cred­i­tors, Gmul Amer­ica In­vest­ments.

In an­other twist, Kush­nir and Chain­rai last month suc­cess­fully sued Beitar Jerusalem owner Arkadi Gay­damak, fa­ther of for­mer Portsmouth owner Alexan­dre, for £16.5m, and were given the right to seize heav­ily in­debted Beitar as surety.

Prop­erty de­vel­oper Kush­nir flatly de­nied that he is about to loan money to Portsmouth. He said: “I’ve no con­nec­tion to the club. Th­ese are stupid ru­mours.”

New Portsmouth Di­rec­tor of Foot­ball Avram Grant was also at Satur­day’s game, sport­ing a stub­ble as he mourns the death of his fa­ther, Meir Granat.

With Portsmouth man­ager Paul Hart strug­gling to lift the side off the foot of the ta­ble, it may not be long be­fore Grant as­sumes the role of team man­ager, which is the wish of the club’s Saudi Ara­bian owner Ali Al Faraj.

Is­raeli su­per-agent Pini Za­havi, who en­gi­neered the club’s lat­est takeover, af­ter Al-Faraj bought 90 per cent of Su­laiman Al-Fahim’s shares in the club last month, ad­vised him to in­stall Grant as man­ager then. How­ever, Portsmouth CEO Peter Stor­rie per­suaded Al Faraj to give Hart more time.

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