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Shinawatra link could scupper Portsmouth takeover deal

Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards has told Portsmouth that Dr Sulaiman Al Fahim's proposed takeover will fail if former Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra is involved. Richards also dismissed suggestions he has had direct involvement in the deal.

Richards told BBC Radio Five Live: "At this stage the Premier League don't know if he is involved.

"The Premier League have met the advisors to Dr Sulaiman this week and we have made it very clear that we want to know who are the shareholders in the possible takeover of Portsmouth.

"Before it can be taken over the people who are involved have to meet the fit and proper persons test.

"There has been a suggestion that possibly Dr Thaksin is involved. If that is the case that takeover will not be allowed to go ahead." Thaksin had his British visa revoked last November after being convicted of corruption in his homeland.

Asked if he himself had direct involvement in the takeover, Richards added: "Absolutely none at all.

"I did meet Dr Sulaiman in Rome. He phoned me up and asked me if I would meet him. He wanted to make it plain to me that he was trying to buy Portsmouth and I did meet him in Rome."

"I knew the doctor before he became chairman of Manchester City," he said. "The Premier League did a tournament in Asia, and I met him.

"While he was chairman he did come and see me and I talked to him like I talked to all the chairmen.

"When you talk about friendship it's chairman to chairman, that's all."

As for suggestions Richards has a role in the sale, Pompey stated: "Sir Dave Richards has had no role to play in the proposed takeover, other than providing advice in his role as chairman of the Premier League and to suggest otherwise undermines the excellent work he does in his position."

The statement concluded: "The due diligence process for the purchase of the club is continuing well and should be completed by early July."

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