Portsmouth appear to have a dodgy owner - who'd have thought it ?

Covered End Member
edited November 2011 in Other Football and Sports

Fratton Park 

A Europe-wide arrest warrant has been
issued for the owner of Portsmouth Football Club Vladimir Antonov.

Lithuanian prosecutors want to question him as part of an investigation into
alleged asset stripping at Snoras Bank.

They are also seeking his business partner Raimondas Baranauskas. Both are
former managers and shareholders of the bank and deny any wrongdoing.

Portsmouth FC said its business operations were unaffected and its day-to-day
operations "carry on as normal".

'Recognised as
suspects'

Snoras Bank went into temporary administration last week and, on Tuesday,
Latvian authorities suspended the operations of another of Antonov's banks,
Krajbanka, for similar reasons.

A court in Lithuania granted the request by the Prosecutor General's Office
on Tuesday and a pre-trial investigation into alleged fraud and money laundering
has begun.

Portsmouth said on Friday it was unaffected by the situation at Snoras
Bank.

In a statement, the prosecutors said: "Both former managers of the bank
Snoras have been recognised as suspects with regard to misappropriation of
property on a large scale and forgery of documents.

"R. Baranauskas is also suspected of fraudulent accounting and abuse of
authority.

"Prosecutor General Mr D Valys signed European arrest warrants issued against
these persons."

Mr Baranauskas also held the posts of the chairman of the bank board and
president.

'Solely financed'

Mr Antonov owns 68% of Bankas Snoras and an administrator has been appointed
to assess its financial position.

The Russian businessman is the backer of Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI)
which owns Portsmouth FC.

Last week CSI
released a statement
saying: "In the light of the recent events at Snoras
Bank, Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI) would like to reassure its companies,
staff, and the fans of its teams and events, that it remains very much business
as usual.

"We are operationally unaffected by Snoras Bank entering temporary
administration.

"CSI has been solely financed through the private wealth of its owners.

"Snoras Bank has never provided funding for the purchase of a CSI
organisation, nor has it lent any money to these businesses after they have been
acquired."

In February 2010, Portsmouth became the first Premier League club to be
placed into administration and CSI completed its takeover of the Championship
side in June 2011.

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