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Gaydamak - I have no plans to sell

Sasha Gaydamak is not seen that often, let alone heard from - but in an in depth interview with today's Sunday Mirror both he and Peter Storrie have had plenty to say…

Gaydamak says that he has no intention of selling Pompey anytime soon and only an 'obscene' offer would see him to do this, and the giant strides we have made forward - and they have been phenomenal over the past few years - are just the start: 'I have not sold the club and I have not actively sought to find a buyer. I'm in this for the long haul. What has been achieved is just the start.

'We are working towards the start of building a new training ground and stadium, and I can assure you that unless someone suddenly came and offered me an obscene amount of money I have no plans to sell up any day soon.

'I take speculation about the possible sale of Portsmouth as a compliment. It must mean we are making immense progress. We must be doing something right.

'Let's face it - there are only 20 Premier League clubs and there are a lot of people who want to buy into that. Unfortunately, they will not meet with much success trying to buy this club'.

Storrie said that the plans that the club have are long term ones, and these involve all connected to the club. He said that work is 'due' to start on our proposed new training facility in the summer and the plans for the much coveted new stadium are 'well in advance'.

As said our growth over the past 5 years, especially in the past couple has been the stuff beyond our wildest imaginations really. We can very nearly call ourselves an established 'top 10' premier league side and we are in the FA cup semi finals, with the chance of our first major domestic silverware in more than 50 years! All of this makes Gaydamak immensely proud, he added: 'Naturally I am delighted that we are playing for a place in the Cup Final, and on a personal note, right or wrong, it is a feeling of success and vindication.

'There were many people who laughed at us, claimed we had invested in a team of pensioners who would take us absolutely nowhere. Not so.

'To see the progress we have made on and off the pitch is remarkable and to play at Wembley is a dream I never realistically expected to fulfil in such a short space of time.

'Of course I'm emotional. Who wouldn't be? But I could do with getting the game out of the way because I think I'm getting on my wife's nerves talking about it every day'.

It is no secret that I am very pro-Redknapp, yep he winds me up beyond belief at times, but then again what manager would not? Gaydamak attributes much of the success we have been having, and will continue to hopefully have to Harry Redknapp, although he did fear he was going to leave for Newcastle: 'Harry is a fantastic manager. He is priceless. The players that come to this club and perform on the pitch do so because of the manager. But I was powerless to stop him going to Newcastle.

'I was on the phone to him non-stop when they made an official approach for him but if you are asking me to be honest about it, I genuinely feared he was leaving'.

Storrie shared these views, going as far as to say it would have been 'catastrophic' had he left, which although no one is irreplaceable replacing him would have been some challenge… as we have found before!

To finish with Gaydamak again reiterated the fact that his intention is to see the club continue to move forward, and his plans are big: 'as a club we will continue to evolve.

'We won't stand still. We want to play in Europe and eventually challenge the top-four clubs.

'It may sound unrealistic, but if you had asked any Portsmouth supporter if they expected to find themselves where we are today, they would have probably laughed in your face'.

I really hope that we can continue to move forward, I will be honest - and think that I have been quite open with this - I have been unsure on the financial status of Gaydamak, I have swayed back and forth on the 'does he have the funds available issue to make what we, and he wants possible' - in all honesty I still do not have a firm idea either way, but you know what fellas lets just enjoy the times we are having, we are the best fans in the world so I think we deserve this, so lets just enjoy the good times while we can eh!

It has not always been easy getting to where we are now, some decisions have been made, and things done - and probably will again - that we might not have liked but I am of the honest opinion that these are done and made in the best interests of Portsmouth football club to get us up with the very best one day hopefully? Yep, football is a business but if we are successful as a business we will inevitably be successful as a football club too, something that I want so long as the heart and soul of this fantastic club is not lost along the way…


Join the Vital Pompey Debate

The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday March 30 2008

Time: 11:56AM

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I'm coming round to Sacha a lot recently and am starting to believe his words .. the trouble he has, which isn't his fault is that he had such a hard act to follow with Milan, but he's making the right noises and doing the right things and we are all having the time of our lives so I think you are right Rug .. Let's just sit back and enjoy.. If Sacha ever needed a reason to see what the club means to the city Friday's 'Blue day' and Saturdays reception at wembley will show him not only what he has but also what the true potential of Pompey as a Fottball Club and a City is all about... Harry's seen it, Peter Storrie has seen it, Milan saw it too when we won the Championship... I hope we everything goes to plan and we can blow Sacha away too... Then get him to open his wallet agin ;)
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30/03/2008 13:01:00

Sounds good news for all involved with PFC. We certainly owe Sasha a great deal for the way he has taken the club forward from Milan and long may it continue.
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30/03/2008 13:04:00

n1 sacha you leg end!!! i still have the ssn recording when we "uncharacteristically" had a news conference about sacha taking over and unveiling his first capture with hr .... some dude called benjani! i would make the file available but its mega big! he has always said the same things unlike hr who rocks back and forth like a prossie on heat!!! this makes me believe him and do not think anyone really doesnt. there are still thoughts that he will sell once the stadium + houses/flats cash in as he is mainly dealing with real estate so the club will be worth a lot more than what he paid for it. if/when he does sell i hope he will follow in milans footsteps of not just finding the right amount of £££ in the bid but to pass it on to someone who is SENSIBLE!! thats the word that describes sacha, the opposite as far as the media are concerned in comparison to milan, he steps back and gets on with it. i have heard a rumour that the training grounds are likely to be given the go ahead very soon just ironing out a few points ... i wont hold my breath! lol.
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30/03/2008 14:09:00

If he wanted to sell he would do it, he is a determined man with a head for business, however i feel that he is a genuine fan, and realises that he could be in charge of something really big. I hope his plans come to pass, and that we can really establish ourselves as a bigger club. He has given Harry money, and he has spent it well, and Harry rewarded him by not going to the "TOON" It would be nice personally for him to take the team to the cup final and for us to get to 60 points in the league.
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30/03/2008 14:38:00

Glas he's come out and said this, because, I believe, stability is the foundations of the great times we are seeing now.
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30/03/2008 15:23:00

Chix for me Sacha won me over almost straight away when he proceeded to change Fratton Park and make it more professional. We may play in a shed but at least he's tarted the shed up to something half respectable.
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30/03/2008 18:19:00

I quite enjoyed the new electronic advertising board. At times guessing what was coming next was slightly more interesting than yesterdays training session.
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30/03/2008 18:22:00

I hope my seat is next to him at Wembley, i believe i am in the same row as him, Peter Storrie and Fred Dineage.
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30/03/2008 18:22:00

I much prefer an owner/chairman who is not being quoted in the press and seeking media attention. Gaydamak's low profile is to be applauded and helps make Pompey Football Club appear a class act. "HR" has enough to say, so Gaydamak suits me. I cannot stand the big football clubs with their loud owners. Take me back to the old days when most people were unaware of who held the purse strings.
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30/03/2008 18:49:00

At least he has never said we are down to the bare bones, or the Russian equivelant.
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30/03/2008 18:55:00

he has made us more proffesional, and has spent money, and backed the club, as well as planning new training ground and stadium. what more could you want from an owner?
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31/03/2008 12:00:00

Look where we are. Where we are going on Saturday. Where we were before Milan, after Milan and now. We can never predict the future, not in any of our lives, but for now its all good, lets enjoy it.
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31/03/2008 12:58:00

If Pompey lost every game at Fratton and away for the rest of the season, but won 2 games at Wembley I will be ecstatic. I know we want to keep challenging in the league but really the Cup is up for grabs, it really is our golden opportunity, which we must seize with both hands.
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31/03/2008 13:30:00

and I bet he kisses babies' heads and gives anonymously to charity too! Come on folks grow up. What do you expect him to say? PFC is morally corrupt, verging on being financially insolvent AND desperate for a buyer?
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31/03/2008 14:09:00

harry and sascha are responsible for getting us in the nice position we find pompey in now, good to see he doesnt want to sell
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31/03/2008 14:10:00

iRobot - you would never expect him to say they were "morally corrupt," and "verging on being financially insolvent" - but he might not say anything, he mght say he would sell, he might not have invested £30 million over the summer, he might not have laid plans for a state of the art training facility, he might not have made plans with the same architechs who designed the olympic stadium in bejiing, for a new £600 million stadium (now revised becuase there is no need to claim land back from the sea...), however seeing as he has done most of those things, i think we can probably say that he is genuine (and NOT just saying it for the sake of saying it). oh, and actually, in fact, last week that hwas anonimously giving money to charity...and that he was seen kissing babies forheads, and blessing them... but as he was doing it anonymously, it wasnt reported...
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31/03/2008 15:30:00

point being carpet is that he is a businessman and like all good businessmen will talk up his investment - and when I look at the timing of his 'interview' it only leads me to believe that he is polishing the silver before it goes up for sale. Summer looks the most likely to me.
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31/03/2008 15:40:00

as said in what i wrote we dont know what will or will not happen really, we dont know what funds he has or does not have so lets just enjoy whats happening eh fellas - que sera sera on this front...
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31/03/2008 16:53:00

pompeyrug, is this or is this not a forum? Well let me answer as you seem a little confused. This is not a facist state last time I checked and despite my oily moniker neither are we robots. If you post on a public website then you should expect comment, hopefully reasonable comment, which in this case this is. As for Que Sera Sera ….. that works as long as you don’t want to comment on the future and if you don’t want to comment then will the last man out of vital pompey turn the lights off.
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31/03/2008 17:12:00

He has said that he does not want to sell, so lets take him at his word. He has not let us down so far, so why should he lie to us now? It was a hard act to follow when Milan left, but they have both proved that they are football fans through and through, i have never doubted his loyalty to us, which Harry respected as well when he turned down the Toon. Feel free to express your opinions iRobot, but we love our club and our chairman and will defend them to the very end, we all remember the old Fourth Division and bankruptcy,Play Up Pompey.
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31/03/2008 19:16:00

if he says he is in for the long term, what reason is there NOT to beleive him? He is a buisnessman, so why quit whilst the value is still going up? he hasnt lied before, and everything he has done has suggested he is in for the long term. the future looks bright, but when you have had such an unpredictable past 5 years, it is very dificult to comment on what we can expect, although one thing i shall be quietly confident of, is that sascha will not sell. (although frattonaussie will presumably have a different opinion)
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31/03/2008 19:35:00

No argument from me carpet, he is a shrewd man, and if he was planning to sell he would do it. He also accepts he is not bigger than the club, which is refreshing for a chairman!
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31/03/2008 19:51:00

Gents. Time will tell, I salute your optimism but he's here for the cash - witness all the recent Pompey finance **** and please don't start telling me that he's doing that for the club. It's a cash cow trouble is it needs a new field and he aint got the cash.
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31/03/2008 20:13:00

And how does he take cash out of us? He has ploughed so much in, and plans to build the training site and new ground, you will have to explain that one to me. He has endorsed the manager with the cash he asked for, and we have sold a couple of players to balance the books. He is hardly going bankrupt at the moment robot, if he was i am sure the gutter press would be really milking this one.
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31/03/2008 20:30:00

he's not an Abramovich who is a net investor, he's much more like the Glazers using gearing to achieve his cash objectives . Lets hope also that he's not like the yanks up at Liverpool who have saddled Liverpool with a debt mountain almost as big as the amount they invested. As for the press having a field day why would they bother?, Commercial realists know how the 'game' is played - very few Premiership owners are in it for the love of football - Whelan, Madjeski and Ashley being the notable exceptions - the rest want fame and fortune. And although you may well be right my feeling is that Gaydamak cannot raise the cash to fund the next level of our move up the table - let's face it we need another £40m-£50m to sustain a top 4 position and chase Europe. History shows us that nothing stands still forever and if Pompey can't improve then chances are they will slip down the table and Gaydamak will know this better than anyone and will want to get out whilst the future looks bright. Don’t forget Owens, successful businessmen sell the sizzle not the steak!!!!
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31/03/2008 21:19:00

iRobot, i never have and never will say that my way of thinking is the right way, or the way people have to think, this site is based on opinions - it is what makes it what it is...
my point was that no matter what i, you or anyone else thinks or says it will not change the way sasha thinks or what he will do, so why overly worry about this, something we cannot change, to overshadow what we are doing as a club? i say time and time again that football is a business, and as such money is made out of it, sasha is a businessman so he will want a return on his investment, or course he will.
of course i think also about the future, and that is important to us, but i also think about the past and this past has seen us go through some of the most awful times so i just want to enjoy what we now have - is that such a bad thing? again as said no matter what anyone says or does this will not alter what happens so for the time being i just want to enjoy what is happening, and why shouldnt i, you and others - i think we deserve it...
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31/03/2008 22:45:00

iRobot ... what the **** are you talking about: "hes not an Abramovich" ... im bloody glad hes not ... how much has he WASTED on chelsea and whats his ROCE in them .. do you even know what that means (dont look it up), i bet hes pushing for a BIG LOSS! i got to the second line of your comment and gave up. yes this is a forum but it doesnt mean we have to have someone spoil it with utter cr*p! yes ... i wouldnt be suprised sacha is using this as his investment... but hes not going to walk away after winning the fa cup ... that means **** in terms of club value... the training and stadium being built ... now THERE is the ROCE. you may be deluded, but hes a VERY VERY good businessman because he doesnt chuck money left, right and centre at any random crap that passes his way. hes sensible and only he knows when he wants to sell. he also wont throw a hissy fit if harry cocks up a few matches and sack him. we have long term ideas, he will see them through then pass this club onto someone who (hopefully) be as sensible and determined as him. until that moment i have faith in his abilities to transform our facilities into world class.
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01/04/2008 00:08:00

Just caught up with this thread guys, it's a bit deep dont you think? Look, if Sascha sells, he sells! If he doesnt, he doesnt! Pompey will carry on, and we will support them. I think thats what Rug meant by Que Sera Sera.....whatever will be will be! We cannot influence it, so lets not worry too much. What I do think though is that we really should be revelling in the position we are in now, and looking foreward to our big trip Saturday! PUP.
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01/04/2008 01:03:00

I'll break my silence and answer this one as I have been mentioned in one of the posts. Sasha will sell if he gets an obcene offer- his words not mine. What's an obcene offer?- eveyone will have a different opinion on that. He has never actively sought offers for the club- few businessmen actively seek offers for anything- it weakens their position. He was careful not to say that he hasn't received any offers or knows about any interest. If you were Sasha would you honestly come out and say yes the club is for sale. I doubt it very much. Apparently it is worth 20 million to Portsmouth to win the FA Cup this year and no doubt more with increased sponsership etc. I don't know how much the entry in the UEFA Cup is worth. TV rights are expected to bring around 50 million this summer. All of this increases the value of Portsmouth or provides a bonus to Sasha if he sells or pays off some debt already incurred by Portsmouth FC or Sasha and hence improves the net worth of the club. Sashas financial input to date is mainly bridging the gap between week to week outgoings and week to week income. With transfers in and out combined with TV income the transfer books for players would be balanced. The statement by Sasha was well timed. He needs to keep a steady ship at this time. Failure to win the Cup or get into Europe would cost him dearly and also unsettle a number of players. Sol Cambell's rumoured departure would have been heard by Sasha before any of us heard about it. He is trying to put a lid on anything else that might upset other players. For the record ,I don't think Sol's departure will have much effect on Pompey's performances next year. I still believe we will see a change of ownership before the end of 2008 but for the time being I am more interested in winning the FA Cup. Again we are being linked to a number of players for the transfer period. Who we get in will largely depend on who we lose and if we are in Europe and need more players. I now think that Nugent will stay. I am 50/50 on Baros and tend to think there may be better players available for the price. He puts in the effort but with little result. Apart from Kranjcar, who I think we should cash in while he has a value, I would like to see us keep the rest of the squad, even Utaka, and try to get Heskey(in place of Baros), Valencia, Huddlestone and Lennon and a replacement for Sol. I don't think the replacement for Sol will be African but I don't have anyone in mind that we are likely to be able to afford. The summer siesta will reveal much or, as I expect, very little in regard to the stadium and training facilities. My prediction for Saturday- a high scoring game 5-3 to Pompey.
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01/04/2008 01:34:00

Pessimist. For what it's worth if football clubs were credit scored by D&B or Experian or any other agency or creditor based on ROCE then they'd never be able to get another penny in operating credit let alone strategic funding. They along with several other business types are principally assessed on positive cash flow not @return on capital employed@ . To put it in pure forum terms, ‘capital employed’ is important because it notes how much has been invested (available to spend iow) but ‘return on capital employed’ is not deemed significant in terms of financial health at any given time in a clubs day to day operational affairs. In other words as long as there is a sufficient flow of cash (be it new investment or fees from TV etc) then the business is deemed healthy, even though it may be showing minimal or negative return on capital employed . Ironically and this is the weed killer in the milk of your argument, as premier league revenues increases in the form of additional media rights etc, clubs’ gross and net margins measured as a percent of revenues are declining… which in pure business shows a declining business when measured year on year. Where I would agree with you is that ROCE does have significance to the owner if and when they sell up, assuming that the clubs’ finances are measured as a single tax point and not spread across multiple corporate ventures. But, there are very few clubs in the top flights that are that simple. Most roll up into a holding company along with all the other businesses in the owner’s portfolio and ROCE then becomes largely intangible for any given business as holding companies normally have portfolio companies that have positive effects on each other – an example being a club finance company that benefits from the fans of the club even though they are separate corporate entities. Anyway, don’t take my word for it – go read the Deloitte reports on premier league finances especially the most recent. As for the rest of your argument, tbf, I don’t see the reason for your points. Nobody is suggesting that these aren’t great times as clearly they are and I like you am delighted. However, when all is said and done my comments relate to the motives of Gaydamak and the timing of his announcement – as I said he’s polishing the silver and on that basis one can only assume he’s going to put it in the shop window very soon and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him sell PFC before the end of this season. Well said frattonozzie.
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01/04/2008 08:59:00

iRobot --- nice reply. i was a little vented last night with your comments relating to abramovich etc and wrote from the heart. yes, clubs obviously rely on cash flow as well but where clubs have failed is where they have spent money they had "in reserves" in a hope that they achieve euro success and/or survival etc (something that return their capital invested). sacha has been sensible enough, i am sure some owners would have "gambled" buying defoe with benji still in the team and then pay the extra loans in a hope that we would achieve success. If you read the early articles about gaydamak he has varied success/failures in his companies but he primarily deals with real estate/development and although I agree he can "polish the silver" (we MAY still not win the cup!!) he met Milan in Dubai (development capital of the world!!) I think he took over the club for the training/stadium development potential and I believe that his exit strategy will be either 1) when planning permission has been granted, 2) when building has been completed or 3) we are going nowhere and struggle with planning permission for more time yet. Therefore, I dont think his strategy will be to exit upon winning the FA cup. His ROCE on the cup will be marginal but with new training facilities, new stadium and top four hunting team .... should give him a nice healthy return. I would be very suprised to see him sell before the end of this season so I think we can agree (amicably perhaps?!) to disagree; although I understand and achnowledege your comments.
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01/04/2008 10:49:00

Likewise Pessimist, good points, especially stadium related revenues, something echoed by the 2007 Deloitte findings on the same subject. Happy to leave it there and nice meeting you.
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01/04/2008 11:08:00

I can't copy you the actual report but here's the press release and foreword in case you missed it: http://www.deloitte.com/dtt/article/0,1002,sid%253D70402%2526cid%253D56148,00.html
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01/04/2008 11:16:00

likewise iRobot, its all banter at the end of the day! :-) a person does not make a club, if he goes, he goes, as long as its not to a numpty and the club still runs economically well (were producing profits every year unlike some others) i couldnt really care less. sacha is a nice bloke though and hasnt caused us any grief yet.
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01/04/2008 12:50:00


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