Pompey's owners refuse to run before they can walk (or build proper toilets)
By Site reporter
Monday 19 Sep 2011 21:11:00
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Sensible words outlining a sensible plan for growth - no, that's not a summary of what's happened so far at the Liberal Democrats' conference; it's what Pompey's latest owners have produced as they plot how their tenure will unfold.

CSI have gone public on their proposals for Pompey and they have spoken of the high priority they are giving to improving the infrastructure of the club ahead of any grand plans to speed back into the Premier League.

Vladimir Antonov also told of his surprise at the lack of investment in Fratton Park by previous owners.

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In their first major round of interviews since taking over in the summer, Convers Sports Initiatives indicated they'd been quick to identify what their Pompey priorities needed to be.

Roman Dubov (pictured) said: 'In the past six-or-seven years around half-a-billion pounds was moving around the club. But we don't even have proper toilets in the stadium... this was a nonsense. What we can promise is that that will not happen with us.

'We want to see a proper football club with a business structure inside. In all aspects of the club, from the commercial side to the academy, they are not in good shape. Only if we improve all these points will the club be successful.

'We're not planning to invest huge money into the squad. If you put a new engine from a Ferrari into a Mini it will not bear (it). But we will put money into the academy and we want to improve the facilities, our training ground - we want to be a proper football club.

Vladimir Antonov said: 'We decided we'll be long-term investors, we don't want to sell the club - we have a five-year development plan. For us it's a long term investment and a passion, emotionally we're very addicted to Portsmouth Football Club.'

That last comment might remind some of Balram Chainrai's famous comment that he was falling in love with Pompey - but there seems no hint that CSI can be compared to the previous part-owner in any other way.

Antonov added: 'Our main goal is to give supporters confidence that we are stable owners and that we have the passion and money to support the club's long-term vision. Currently we're working on how to expand our territory around Fratton Park. We'll do our best to buy this plot of land back to the club again.'

Dubov said the stadium was a priority and added: 'Right now we're doing some investigation and working with the lawyers, we're working on it.'

Antonov added: 'When we decided to buy a football club we started our research around the south of England. We started from League Two, then League One, and then we found Portsmouth. And we found a fantastic club, with a fantastic spirit, and history and heritage and an army of supporters with huge potential for the future.

'We want to develop the club, it's not a toy, it's not just one of our assests - we're becoming addicted and we will continue with that.'

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