Hong Kong-based businessman Balram Chainrai says that despite taking control of Portsmouth on Thursday, he has no intention of remaining in charge in the long term and that he is not the ”owner” of the club.
Chainrai has technically become Pompey’s fourth owner this season after his company, Portpin, took over the 90% shareholding of previous owner Ali Al-Faraj.
But the 51-year-old insists he is merely protecting the club’s interests by removing Al-Faraj after the players saw their wages delayed four times this season.
”I have zero interest in buying Portsmouth and it’s completely untrue that I am the new owner of the club,” Chainrai told the South China Morning Post. ”As far as I am concerned, I have just confiscated the shares of the previous owners.
”It’s nothing to do with controlling the club. I don’t know anything about running a football club. I just love the game and that’s why I’ve taken this action. We have exercised our right to take control of the shares, and to remove the previous owners.
”It’s all about protecting the club’s interests. It’s about finding someone who has the club’s best interests at heart.”
Chainrai is now focused on finding a suitable investor for the club and is confident of doing so.
”Believe me, someone will come in and buy this club,” he added. ”This is Premier League football we are talking about. We are eagerly looking for an investor to come in and take over.
”I don’t have a time frame to find a prospective buyer. I would like to have one here today if I could, but we’ll just have to wait.”
Chainrai is also pushing ahead with plans to defer the club’s winding-up hearing despite threats of a legal challenge to his takeover.The first step is to try to put off next week’s High Court hearing brought by HM Customs and Revenue over a £7.5 million VAT bill.
Portsmouth said in a statement: ”The club will now apply to HMRC to adjourn next week’s winding-up hearing to allow time for the club to be stabilised and new owners found.”