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Portsmouth close to new takeover

Portsmouth are on the verge of being taken over for a third time this season with advanced talks scheduled for Wednesday night with potential new owners.

Soccernet can reveal that there is real optimism growing inside Fratton Park that yet another takeover is possible. Insiders are thus far keeping the identity of the new investors a closely-guarded secret, but it is possible that they will wish to remain as anonymous as possible, much like the way Notts County were taken over earlier in the season.

A Fratton Park insider revealed: "The club is looking at all their options. Either the present owners will refinance, which is not so easy, or new owners can come in."

The club were owned by Alexandre Gaydamak at the start of the new season before a takeover by Sulaiman Al Fahim, the self proclaimed Dubai property investor and reality TV host.

Al Fahim spent just 42 tumultuous days in charge at Fratton Park before selling the club on to Ali Al Faraj, the Saudi Arabian owner of Falcondrone Ltd, which now owns 90% of Portsmouth.

Having changed hands two times, the club's ownership status is complex. Al-Fahim Asia Associates Ltd (AAA), owned by Al-Fahim, retains a 10% share and the former owner will stay as non-executive chairman until at least the end of next season. Meanwhile Gaydamak is still owed £28 million by the club as he owns crucial property surrounding Fratton Park.

The club have now engaged in talks with potential new owners. A source added: "We have been talking with a new potential owner, in fact we have been talking to two or three interested parties, and one of them is interested enough to want a second round of talks, and we shall know soon enough whether they will make an offer."

Pompey were linked with the son of Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi, Saadi Gaddafi, president of the Libyan Football Federation, who has previously shown passing interest in owning a Premier League club.

Gaddafi junior was supposed to have talks with representatives of Al Faraj, but Soccernet has been told by a source: "Is this the silly season? Of course we have not. We've got enough problems as it is."

As Al Faraj struggles with his intended plans for a major refinancing programme to save the club that has tottered on the brink of administration all season, there is an opening for yet new owners to emerge, and it is understood that could happen in the next 48 hours.

The source said: "Who knows? We hope so. This month the wages fall on a Sunday, so they need to be paid this Friday or Monday. Will they be late again? As I said, who knows?"


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