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It was a takeover saga with more twists and turns than a Ronaldo stepover, and more drama than a Millwall away day at West Ham.
Middle Eastern investor Sulaiman al-Fahim was finally announced as the proud new owner of Portsmouth Football Club last week (see story).
It’s been a tortured process since the bid was first made public in May, both for fans and for the lawyers involved in the deal.
First Hammonds got the boot, when the bidding consortium switched advisers in June. Mayer Brown was instructed instead.
Then London firm Kingsley Napley was shown the red card by the club’s owner Devondale Investments. Taylor Wessing was called off the bench to complete the deal.
The process was further complicated by a rival bid from club chairman Peter Storrie, who instructed, er, Kingsley Napley.
Pompey fans expecting a Manchester City-style influx of petro dollars were soon to be disappointed. The club has since offloaded some of its best players, and the presence of two other firms in the deal gives a clue as to why.
Jones Day and Denton Wilde Sapte were at the negotiating table representing the club’s creditors, Standard Bank and Barclays, who are reportedly owed millions.
When it comes to questions of cold, hard cash, it seems the beautiful game can very quickly turn ugly.
Don’t miss The Lawyer on Monday for The LawyerUK200, the definitive guide to the finances of Britain’s top law firms and chambers.