Pompey: An Unavoidable Calamity?

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14 Responses

  1. Best article on this subject yet by a country mile!

  2. PompeyNW3 says:

    With apologies to those who may have read the following on Fratton Faithful, my thoughts on this are as follows:

    I am not sure that Antonov and his cronies are in the business of ownership of a club such as Pompey for profit. If someone wants to make a profit out of sport buying a second tier club with no modern infrastructure and with a dwindling fan base is hardly an obvious play. However, the situation does provoke a few thoughts.

    In retrospect, it appears to be the case that the altogether more up-market crooks – the Gaydamarks – used Pompey for money laundering purposes. If a report is ever published it may confirm back-of the-envelope calculations that suggest that at least £40m was not accounted for. But then that wouldn’t come as a surprise when it was apparently the case that a total of £500m went through the books during the 7 year Premier league sojourn.

    Antonov’s principal alleged default/deceit seems to revolve around a few hundred million missing from the curiously named Snoras Bank. Perhaps the tellers were asleep when the loot went missing from the safe – if, of course, it was there in the first place? Clearly there is little evidence of anything close to a small proportion of that sum turning up in the petty cash tin at Fratton Park over the past few months: budget squad, budget manager, budget chief exec and still no fully functioning, fully equipped weather-proof loos and wash basins in the South Stand upper. Indeed, had anything approaching a few million been splashed out in the transfer market in the summer, even the dopes who purport to run the Football League and apply its unfit-and-improper person test might have been roused from their collective slumber.

    It is apparent that one part of the attraction for buying up sports teams is ego; another part is to provide a sense of establishment in the UK for some of these get-rich-quick merchants from overseas who have fleeced their fellow citizens back ‘in the old country’. While it was arguably the case that part of Milan Mandaric’s motivation might have fallen into the first of these two, it is undoubtedly the case that he was genuinely passionate about sport and grew to love Pompey – at least for as long as he owned the club. Subsequently, Milan’s ability to move on to two more clubs betrayed the financial motive at heart if the rumours of his apparent £20m/£25m profit on Pompey are true.

    One might surmise that Antonov’s motives could be a mixture of all of these as he and his gang have ‘invested’ – or at least acquired – interests in a number of sports franchise. None of those franchises currently seem to be setting their respective world’s alight. Maybe Antonov has been storing the Snoring dosh somewhere with a view to permitting just enough to filter into these franchises in the hope that one or two might start taking off so as to thereafter justify more ‘investment’ as a base for a grand money-laundering washday. As the initial ‘investment’ in glory begins to reap dividends on the pitch – or on the track – interest may be leveraged. Other punters, similarly motivated, may be induced to buy into the sporting dream Antonov’s pipe has smoked; the owners’ collective egos may then also be sated with a successful team/sports franchise that can then be sold, all the while establishing his credentials in the local/national consciousness as a bringer of good things. At that point it won’t be for the faint of hearth that start to look under the rocks from which he originally emerged with his first sack of cash.

    With the economic meltdown and the rise of the Fourth Reich being the major story that will run and run in the headlines, football and supporting the team that wears the blue and white of Pompey should provide some respite. ‘Should’ is the operative word. After 3 years of Pompey stories that centre on finance, skulduggery, fraud, money-laundering, dodgy Russians, backhanders, brown envelopes, police raids, arrests, litigation, unpaid creditors, under-funded owners, overpaid and under-talented footballers bought and sold for multiples of what most of us will likely earn in a lifetime I am curiously not that upset that there is something to take our minds off the team’s current inconsistency on the pitch. Sadly those performances may be negatively affected by all the rumour – and more so if Antonov’s assets frozen and his money tap not merely turned off by the Lithuanian banking regulator but capped for good. If and when that happens, once again, Pompey will be standing on the edge of a precipice. This time there may be too many hands to give the final push in the small of the club’s back and no-one to get in the way of their doing so.

  3. SJMaskell says:

    This goes to the heart of football ownership. If the FA/FL/PL don’t see it then these are worrying times as you say NW3

    Mr Dubov has just told the press outside court that they are struggling to save the business. It is inferred that he means CSI as Dubov has no interest in Snoras.

    In that case we do have a real problem that the Authorities cannot afford to wait on.

    Supporters might find this a good time to join the Pompey Supporters Trust. http://www.pompeytrust.com/index.php?option=com_acctexp&task=subscribe

  4. PFCJake says:

    Best artical by far on this so far

  5. Simon Denyer says:

    Superb piece. Gets to the heart of the fundamental problem, the ownership of Englosh football clubs and the authorities’ absolute disregard of the risks as they try to keep the money rolling in.

    Meanwhile, I am still waiting to be convinced that Pomey’s future is safe. If CSI is liquidated, will PFC really be sold as a going concern? Are we still a going concern? Is there anything to stop us being liquidated also?

  6. SJMaskell says:

    This is a situation fast unravelling. Everything from liquidation to a return to Balram Chainrai’s ownership is being mooted. There is much more to come.

  7. mik says:

    If we end up having points docked, the fans should go up to london and protest outise the FA! At the end of the day, it is unbelievable how much they have failed us with the FPP test. then to punish the players and the fans would be a diabolical.!!!!! PUP

  1. November 29, 2011

    [...] – courtesy of a Southampton fan. Galling. But it didn’t surprise us. Five days ago I wrote that Pompey Chairman, Vladimir Antonov was the subject of a European arrest warrant and said there [...]

  2. January 23, 2012

    [...] from his bank, Snoras. Snoras has gone under and triggered the charges against Antonov. Despite the warning bells against this institution worldwide, the Football League considered Antonov to be a good enough [...]

  3. March 4, 2012

    [...] payment from Pompey’s parent company CSI before that company was put into administration in November 2011. Mr Chainrai is the chief and secured creditor of CSI and now lays claim to Pompey’s debt to [...]

  4. April 12, 2012

    [...] However, visible progress was hard to detect and there were rumblings amongst fans in regard to Antonov’s complex past, including some concerns about the source of his fortune. However, cognisant as we have become of international economics at Pompey in recent years, we soothed ourselves with the caveat that very few rich Russians had spotless histories – citing Abramovich himself in our rationale. But it was more difficult to rationalise the fact that the FSA would not license Antonov’s Snoras Bank to operate in the UK, that the European Investment Bank would not lend to SAAB if Antonov was the owner, that General Motors would not trade with SAAB in the same circumstances and that the US were not willing to grant him a visa. Then there was his encounter with assassins from the Chechen Mafia … an interim Kroll Report found in a simple Google search outlined the whole business. Antonov claims to be the innocent party in all these encounters and that there are political moves against him that blacken his name. More detail can be found here. [...]

  5. June 24, 2012

    [...] see that he would be getting his original 2009 charge finally paid off. CSI defaulted however under dramatic circumstances which sent both CSI and eventually Portsmouth (2010) into administration. CSI had fallen into the [...]

  6. April 9, 2013

    [...] to be in short supply in some cases. Bringing CSI to Pompey is a case in point, as CSI owner Vladimir Antonov was already non grata with both the FSA and the American Authorities well before the deal was [...]

  7. August 15, 2013

    […] backer to the politics of international banking, after the calamities caused by Gaydamak and Antonov. Had the Harris bid been taken seriously and succeeded this could have been a case of third strike […]

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