Chainrai takes over at Pompey
Portsmouth have been taken over for a fourth time in less than a year after Balram Chainrai seized control of Ali Al-Faraj’s 90 per cent share.
Chainrai has taken over after the club continually defaulted on loan repayments.
The Hong Kong businessman had loaned at least £17million to Faraj to keep Portsmouth afloat through Portpin, the company he owns with his Israeli business partner, Levi Kushnir, and their associates.
Those loans were secured against the stadium, the club’s future television revenue and Faraj’s 90 per cent share.
Angered by Portsmouth’s failure to make the repayments, despite Portpin continually extending the deadlines, Chainrai’s patience ran out on Wednesday.
Under the terms of the loan Faraj’s 90 per cent shareholding in Portsmouth was frozen and passes to Chainrai, who has confirmed Portpin will now look after the club’s best interests.
"Portpin have made substantial loans to Portsmouth to try and ensure the club’s future," he told The Guardian.
"Portpin will [now] continue to work for the best interests of the club."
Portsmouth are due in court to appeal against the petition before the hearing next Wednesday.
Chainrai appealed to HMRC to understand the club’s financial predicament, adding: "To help Portsmouth succeed we need the support and understanding of Her Majesty’s Revenue to work out a solution."
Chainrai is Pompey’s fourth owner this season – and the club could have a fifth before the year is out.
A Portsmouth spokesman said: "Portpin have exercised a clause in their contractual agreement to take a controlling interest.
"They are taking control on a temporary basis to allow new owners to be found.
"Portpin’s aim is to come in and stabilise the club, sort out the business with the winding up order from HMRC and sell it on to new owners.
"New directors will be appointed to the board and Peter Storrie will remain as chief executive and will be running the club."