Prem chief: Thaksin can’t be part of Pompey deal


Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards insists the impending takeover of Portsmouth will not be allowed to go through if former Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra is involved.

Property billionaire Dr Sulaiman Al Fahim is close to taking over at Fratton Park with due diligence set to be completed next month.

Portsmouth have denied newspaper claims that former Thai prime minister Thaksin has had a role to play in the deal.

Richards told BBC Radio Five Live: “At this stage the Premier League don’t know if he is involved.

“The Premier League have met the advisors to Dr Sulaiman this week and we have made it very clear that we want to know who are the shareholders in the possible takeover of Portsmouth.

“Before it can be taken over the people who are involved have to meet the fit and proper persons test.

“There has been a suggestion that possibly Dr Thaksin is involved. If that is the case that takeover will not be allowed to go through.”

Thaksin, who was ousted as Thailand’s prime minister in 2006, had his British visa revoked last November after being convicted of corruption in his homeland.

He was sentenced to two years in jail, and the Thai authorities have since been attempting to extradite him, recently tracking him down to Germany where he has been forced to give up his residence permit.

Portsmouth released a statement on Saturday which read: “Portsmouth FC would like to confirm that neither Dr Thaksin Shinawatra nor his advisor Pairoj Piempongsat are involved in funding Dr Sulaiman al Fahim’s bid to buy the club.

“A representative for Dr Sulaiman al Fahim met with Premier League officials last week and confirmed that he is the sole purchaser of the football club and this will be verified by his lawyers.

“Pompey executive chairman Peter Storrie met Pairoj Piempongsat during his time at Manchester City some two years ago. Pairoj subsequently introduced Mr Storrie to Dr Sulaiman al Fahim and that is the extent of his involvement in the proposed takeover.”

Reports have also suggested Premier League supremo Richards himself has been involved in the deal, but Portsmouth have denied this as well.

Portsmouth stated: “Sir Dave Richards has had no role to play in the proposed takeover, other than providing advice in his role as chairman of the Premier League and to suggest otherwise undermines the excellent work he does in his position.”

The statement concluded: “The due diligence process for the purchase of the club is continuing well and should be completed by early July.”



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