Police to investigate Gaydamak's Portsmouth investment

April 19, 2006

Police are to review a dossier which raises questions over the purchase of Alexandre `Sacha` Gaydamak's 50% stake in Portsmouth, according to a newspaper report.

Hampshire police's special investigations unit today confirmed it was to look into the background of the Franco-Russian businessman, who was said to have paid £15million for a half share in the club in January.

The News, Portsmouth's evening newspaper, claimed detectives have been handed a dossier from independent investigative organisation Global Witness, a pressure group which looks at business dealings across the world.

It claims that many of Gaydamak's companies have not had a massive turnover and wants checks on whether the money used to buy half of Pompey may actually belong to his father Arcadi.

Arcadi is the subject of an arrest warrant in France over an alleged arms-for-oil deal in Angola.

Alexandre Gaydamak, 30, has always insisted the money he used to buy into the club - and the £12million with which manager Harry Redknapp has signed nine players - was his.

Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric defended his business partner.

He said: 'I think it is all rubbish coming from somewhere. There is nothing I am worried about because I have no evidence or information whatsoever about this.'

And a business associate close to the former Israeli army sniper said: 'Mr Gaydamak is unaware of any police investigation but is happy to assist with any inquiries.'

Since Redknapp returned from Southampton to become manager for a second spell, Pompey have finally climbed out of the Premiership's bottom three with an unbeaten sequence of six matches which was ended by a 2-1 defeat at Charlton on Monday.

They should survive if they can win two of their three remaining fixtures at home to Sunderland, away to Wigan Athletic and at home to Liverpool.