Date: 27th July 2011 at 9:04am
Written by:

Thanks to pompeydj, who posted a thread in the forum – here, an interview given to Sports.ru by new Pompey co-owner Roman Dubov – from about a month ago mind – has been found.

Talking about a wide range of topics, here are just a few snippets – including him saying that ‘Russian players or managers’ are not expected at Pompey, not included below mind – from that interview…

At the end of May you have entered the football market. Why did you choose Portsmouth?
We have been keeping an eye on football clubs for a long time. There was an option with Glasgow Rangers. But for the last fourteen years the club had some disputed issues with their tax office for quite a large amount. We thought that it was quite a big risk for us. There were also a number of clubs from the English Championship and a few from the Premier League. We have set our choice on Portsmouth for many reasons: wonderful club, loyal fans, long football history, and strongly underestimated potential, in our opinion.

Choosing the club, did you only look at England?
Yes, last year we did not look at Europe – only at England. A football club cannot live far away from you. If you want to make it a business, you have to pay attention to it every day – and we have live been living in London for a long time.

Purchasing an English club – how difficult is it? Do you only need money for that or something else as well?
It’s hard. At times buying other, more serious types of business is easier than buying a football club. It is a long process which requires endorsements from the Football League, disclosure of incomes, money laundering inspections. In our case, all that took about two and a half or three months.

English football is considered to be loss-making. Why do you need it?
It’s a misconception. Let’s begin with the fact that even Portsmouth was a profitable club last year. It may be shocking for someone, but the profit of the club relegated from the Premier League has made around £1 million. Partly it is due to the parachute payments and to the fact that since the bankruptcy the club has been under strict financial regulation from the Football League. For today the club is profitable.

When is Portsmouth going to come back to the Premier League?
I don’t think it’s an appropriate question. Our goal is to win every match.

Rumour has it that if Guus Hiddink agreed to become Chelsea manager, Abramovich was ready to provide him £150 million. Villas-Boas will hardly receive less than that. How much is Portsmouth ready to spend for transfers this summer?
We do not have any budget restrictions. We have an objective for the season – to win each game. The manager and the chief executive have a vision of how to make the club competitive in the Championship. They also have a carte blanche for transfers. When we bought the club, at the end of the season the team had only eight players with valid contracts. So, we will have at least ten new signings.

How did they meet you at Portsmouth? We know how Russian tourists are usually met in Europe. What about Russian investors?
It’s no secret that it is quite hard for any businessman of Russian origin to do business in Europe. Fortunately, we have been living abroad for a long time and our third partner – the Englishman Chris Akers [former co-owner and chairman of Leeds United – Sports.ru] is well-known in the world of sports. But still all negotiations begin with taking the length of your foot, with questions about the origin of your money and your ideology. At first people are sceptical, but we try to make them change their mind.

What is your answer about the origin of your money?
We are doing business in various areas. Banking sector – we have several major banks in Latvia and Lithuania, a bank in Panama, in Ukraine, plus we have recently sold a Russian bank. We have shares in airlines and cargo carriers. And many other things – from retail trade to the supply of clothes to supermarkets. Now we practically don`t conduct any business activities in Russia. We earn all the money in Europe and Asia – and we have nothing to hide.


It makes for interesting reading, not just the snippets above but the entire interview.

We now know that the immortal Kanu is going nowhere too, his contact will not be ‘terminated’ as he will still ‘benefit the team’, and interesting he is ‘very useful in communication with our youth.’

To read the full interview from Dmitry Navosha and Yury Dud go to www.sports.ru – here.

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