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Football League

Pompey's new owner Chainrai eyes stability after deal is completed

Portsmouth yesterday confirmed the sale of the club to businessmen Balram Chainrai, Levi Kushnir and Deepak Chainrai has been completed. The deal, which has safeguarded the club's future, received Football League approval yesterday, with the transfer embargo placed on the club lifted.

The club had claimed on Friday evening that they were on the brink of ceasing trading because former owner Alexandre Gaydamak had refused to sign a deal to sell the club. But Gaydamak confirmed on Saturday that he would sign an agreement and the deal has finally gone through.

"It is a relief to come out of administration because the future of the club has been in jeopardy for a long time," chief executive David Lampitt said. "We are now in a position where we can move forward on a more stable financial footing. This has been an extremely tough journey and the legacy of past events at the club means we still have a long way to travel and a number of battles to fight. However, throughout these difficult times, one thing has remained constant – the incredible support of our fans, whose loyalty and patience has been tested to the limit."

After months of uncertainty at Fratton Park, new owner Balram Chainrai has promised to stabilise the club. "We are very pleased to have finally completed the sale process," he said. "We look forward to working with the senior executive team and the football manager, and to be part of the rebuilding process of this historic club.

"We're not going to make any rash promises – first of all, we need to stabilise and Levi and I will be taking time to get a closer understanding of the business so that we can ensure the club is taken forward in the right way."

"Having supported the club through the administration process, we pray the team will continue its winning run, and we send our thanks and best wishes to Steve Cotterill and his players for the outstanding way they have performed despite uncertain circumstances."

After a disastrous start to the campaign, Pompey have made light of their off-the-field problems in recent weeks, having won five of their last six league games and sit 13th in the table. Their latest success came at Hull on Saturday, goals either side of half-time from David Nugent and Greg Halford securing a 2-1 win at the KC Stadium. Nick Barmby headed a late consolation.

Swansea moved third with a 2-0 win over Sven Goran Eriksson's Leicester. Marvin Emnes opened the scoring after 50 minutes before Scott Sinclair added a second in injury time. Norwich sit level with the Welsh side on 23 points after overcoming Middlesbrough 1-0 through a Simeon Jackson strike.

Coventry moved into the play-off positions with a 3-0 win over Barnsley, Burnley surrendered their unbeaten home record by crumbling 4-0 against Reading, while Preston moved out of the relegation zone with a 4-3 victory over Crystal Palace, who now sit second bottom. Cardiff visit Leeds tonight with the chance to join QPR at the top of the table.