Portsmouth takeover race hots up as Middle East investors enter bidding
15:35 GMT, 10 September 2012
A group of Middle Eastern investors have become the third bidder for debt-laden Portsmouth.
The Portsmouth Supporters Trust and former owner Balram Chainrai are already working on rival bids for the club.
The deadline for offers to be submitted is Friday.
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'We have received an initial offer from a Middle East-based group and are currently awaiting clarification of financial issues,' said a spokesman for PKF, the club's administrators.
Portsmouth, FA Cup winners in 2008, were in the Premier League as recently as 2010 but were relegated to League One last season after incurring a 10-point penalty for going into administration.
An online report by Dubai-based magazine Arabian Business said the potential Middle East investors had put $20.4 million (12.8m) into an escrow account held by Dubai Bank on August 30.
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United Arab Emirates businessman Sulaiman al-Fahim bought Portsmouth in 2009 but his tenure was short-lived during a chaotic period where the club changed hands several times.
The current Portsmouth team is a mixture of youngsters and more experienced players on loan deals or short-term contracts.
The south coast club attracted a crowd of almost 18,000 for their first league fixture last month. They finally gave their fans something to cheer when won 3-0 at Crawley on Sunday – their first league win of the season.