Four years after winning the English FA Cup, Portsmouth is seeking a way to survive.
Administrators -- the British equivalent of bankruptcy officers -- have been running the club for more than six months and have set a Friday deadline for interested bidders. A group of investors from the Middle East has lodged a bid, joining the Portsmouth Supporters Trust and former club owner Balram Chainrai's Portpin vehicle in the process.
"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 administration group that has been running the club that won the FA Cup in 2008 and played in the Premier League as recently as two years ago but have been beset by ownership changes and financial problems. It was relegated to League One, the third division, after incurring an automatic 10-point penalty imposed by going into administration.
An online report by Dubai-based magazine Arabian Business said the potential Middle East investors had put $20.4 million into an escrow account held by Dubai Bank on Aug. 30. United Arab Emirates businessman Sulaiman al-Fahim bought Portsmouth in 2009 but he wasn't able resolve its financial troubles. The squad current consists of youngsters and more experienced players on loan deals or short-term contracts.