Date: 1st June 2011 at 9:33am
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It is finally done, after weeks and months or talk, rumour, speculation and negotiations its just been announced that CSI have completed their takeover of Pompey.

The following statement was issued on The Pompey Site a little while ago…

Portsmouth Football Club Statement

Convers Sports Initiatives have completed the purchase of Portsmouth Football Club from Sports Holdings (Asia) Ltd.

It follows several months of negotiations with CSI owners Vladimir Antonov, Roman Dubov and Chris Akers, who have all passed The Football League’s fit and proper persons test.

Pompey chief executive David Lampitt said: “I am pleased to welcome the club’s new owners and very much look forward to working with them.

“It has been a complex process, which has been conducted very professionally throughout. I’m very pleased that it is now complete and we can start to put plans in place for the future.

“The rebuilding of the club is a long term-project and, in CSI, I believe we have found owners who will take the long-term view that is required.

“We are pleased to be looking ahead but may I also take this opportunity to thank Balu Chainrai, Levi Kushnir and Deepak Chainrai for their contribution in seeing the club through a very difficult period in its recent history.”

Antonov, a Russian banker and investor, founded London-based CSI with Dubov and Akers, a former chief executive at Leeds United.

Among CSI’s other sports properties are the Spyker Squadron motorsport team and North One Sport, a global promoter of major sporting events.

So FINALLY this is done!

I think it would be naïve to go into this getting too carried away but I think a fair level of optimism and pessimism is something we should show.

Above all we need to give the CSI guys a chance.

They said, in a statement also issued on The Pompey Site, the following…

Convers Sports Initiatives Statement

Convers Sports Initiatives plc, controlled by London-based Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov, has today completed the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Portsmouth Football Club following approval by The Football League.

London-based businessmen Vladimir Antonov and Roman Dubov, Chairman and President respectively of Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI), together with their partner Chris Akers, the former CEO of Leeds United and Sports Internet Group, have bought the Fratton Park club for an undisclosed sum from Hong Kong businessman Balu Chainrai, his brother Deepak and Levi Kushnir.

Mr Antonov, 35, Mr Dubov, 36, and Mr Akers, 46, manage the commercial development of a growing portfolio of sports teams, franchises and rights through CSI, including: the Russian Ferrari race team, the Spyker Squadron motorsports team and North One Sport, the global promoters of the World Rally Championship (WRC), the Isle of Man TT race series, the Velux 5 Oceans Race and Clipper Round the World sailing events.

In November 2010, CSI acquired a controlling interest in PowerPlay Golf the exciting new golf format which is now played in over 25 countries. In February 2011 CSI acquired North One Sport and in the same month purchased a majority stake in DBG Convers, a specialist in developing social new media solutions for sports and entertainment brands and personalities including world heavyweight boxer David Haye. In March 2011 CSI secured a 65% share of Executive Sport Limited, the parent company of the high profile “Leaders in Football” conference. In May 2011 CSI purchased a majority stake in Sports International Ltd, the holding company of popular online platform SPORTPOST.com.

Commenting on the Portsmouth FC acquisition Mr Antonov said: “We have conducted extensive due diligence and held detailed negotiations with a number of clubs in the English Premier League, Championship, League One and Scottish Premier League over the past twelve months. We ultimately selected Portsmouth Football Club because of its history, loyal fan base and its potential to return to the Premier League.

“The supporters are amongst the most passionate in the game and that gives the business a strong foundation to build on.

“We look forward to working with all those connected with Portsmouth Football Club including the management, players, employees, and sponsors as well as developing close ties with the City of Portsmouth and the community.

“We would also like to thank Mr Chainrai and his executive management team for their stewardship of Portsmouth Football Club through one of the most difficult times in its history, pre and post-Administration last year.’

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