Tycoon Wants Out of Football Club

APPortsmouth's Peter Crouch scoring his team's first goal against West Bromwich Albion in England on Sunday.
Portsmouth owner Alexander Gaidamak has decided to sell the English Premier League club and has already rejected two offers, the Sunday Mirror reported.

"I have come to realize over a period of time that I can no longer invest the time required to oversee the running of the club," he said, the newspaper reported.

"I think it's only right to consider the sale of the club to a group or individual who can come in and invest the time and money to ensure the club reaches its true potential."

A new owner would need to commit to building a new stadium and training ground, said Gaidamak, the son of Russian-Israeli billionaire Arkady Gaidamak and former owner of the now-defunct Moskovskiye Novosti.

Portsmouth has been seeking a move away from Fratton Park, the club's home since 1898, for some time.

"As regards the stadium and new training ground, it is sensible to re-evaluate things in the current market, but I stress that it is imperative that they go ahead," he said.

"Until I find a buyer who will give me cast-iron assurances that this will be the case, I will remain at the club.

"Making money from the sale does not interest me -- finding the right buyer is far more important," he said.

Portsmouth won the FA Cup last season under coach Harry Redknapp, who has since left and been succeeded by Tony Adams. That success gave them European qualification for the first time, but they were eliminated from the UEFA Cup on Thursday.

Gaidamak is one of several Russian oligarchs who have taken stakes in popular British clubs. Alisher Usmanov, majority owner of Metalloinvest, bought a 15 percent stake in Arsenal last year. The most well-known Russian team owner remains Roman Abramovich, who bought Chelsea in 2003.

(Reuters, MT)