Gaydamak confusion goes on

By Simon Griver, October 2, 2008

 The gradual demise of the Gaydamak family empire, together Portsmouth's announcement that their owner would listen to the "right offer" to sell following reports about the club's mounting losses, may be seen to add weight to claims that the club is, in fact, owned by Arkady Gaydamak and not his son, Alexandre.

Last month Arkady Gaydamak announced that he was liquidating his Israeli assets except for the football club Betar Jerusalem. He has since sold property company Ocif Investments after it was placed into receivership and is negotiating to sell his other three companies which are traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. However, Gaydamak senior, who is believed to have global assets worth $3 billion, insists that he has no liquidity problems but is just fed up with doing business in Israel.

Following reports in Israel in September that Arkady was the owner of Portsmouth, the Premier League asked Alexandre to reaffirm his ownership of the club, which he did. Alexandre Gaydamak, 32, acquired the club in 2006 for £32million and has overseen the FA Cup holders most successful spell in 60 years.

But cynics may point to the fact that that within days of the Israel branch of Gaydamak's business empire collapsing, major details of Portsmouth's financial woes were revealed and the club has confirmed it is for sale. It is reportedly £60 million in debt, and with players wages amounting to 90 per cent of income, Portsmouth expects to lose £25 million this season.

Yet all these details were known in the summer when manager Harry Redknapp was enlarging his squad. The only thing that has changed since then is the credit crunch and Arkady Gaydamak's liquidity situation.

Last updated: 5:13pm, October 2 2008