22-year-old to buy Portsmouth FC with bridging finance and Pritchard

22-year-old to buy Portsmouth FC with bridging finance and Pritchard


Tomas Lever, bidding for Portsmouth FC

A student from Cheshire is in talks to buy Portsmouth Football Club with the help of mortgage guru Terry Pritchard and a short term finance provider.

Tomas Lever appeared on the MTV reality programme Living on the Edge in 2007 and is now hitting headlines again, this time with his bid to buy Pompey – as it’s known to fans – out of administration.

The Manchester United fan will find out today if his bid is successful. He first decided to make an offer five weeks ago after being made aware of the club’s mid to long term development opportunities.

Speaking exclusively to Bridging and Commercial, he said: “It’s a business, I’m doing various things with land at the moment and thought this looked interesting.

“If I can get the club back on track then that would be a fantastic ego trip for me and the team, it’s a challenge.”

According to a report by the Telegraph newspaper, administrator Andrew Andronikou expressed doubts about the businessman’s ability to fund the £16.2 million he offered to buy the club.

However, this has been vehemently denied by Mr Lever, who points to the fact that both Mr Andronikou and current de facto owner Balram Chainrai refused to comment on the case. Mr Lever is considering legal against the newspaper as a result.  

One of Mr Lever’s numerous companies is Paint, a concierge company offering lifestyle services to high net worth individuals. He doesn’t intend to put forward personal money however, and has teamed up with financial advisors Zeus Capital and Mr Pritchard.

Mr Lever took on Mr Pritchard – managing director of Charterhouse Retirement Solutions and founder of defunct packager Chase UK – to help him acquire funding for the takeover after not going with Jumbo Bridging, a Scottish-based lender who also packages for hedge funds.

Mr Lever claims to have agreed a £30 million loan from Jumbo, charged at two per cent interest, equivalent to payments of £600,000 per month. Jumbo refutes this.

After speaking to Mark Posniak, marketing director at specialist lender Drawbridge Finance, from his Portuguese holiday retreat, Bridging and Commercial learnt that Mr Lever’s team also approached Drawbridge, but that they turned down the deal.

Dismissing claims that Mr Lever is too young to take on a championship club, Mr Pritchard said: “Because he’s 22 years old most people wouldn’t take him seriously, but he’s more like a 30-year-old. He also has very experienced partners with him who know what they’re doing.

“The deal has gone out to a few specialist lenders and we’re very confident.”

The club’s current de facto owner is property developer Balram Chainrai. Mr Chainrai took control of the club after its former owner Ali al-Faraj failed to meet the scheduled repayments on a £17 million loan made by the Hong Kong businessman.

Mr Chainrai has been looking to sell the club ever since.

Also involved in the mix is Mr Lever’s father, David Lever, a former Tory councillor who is currently in an individual voluntary agreement (IVA), and not bankrupt as mistakenly reported.

David Lever’s financial situation has done little to assure the club’s supporters of his son’s bid.  

Mr Lever insists his father has nothing to do with his proposal, and says: "My dad has nothing to do with the deal at all, legal letters have been sent to the club’s board of directors to confirm he would have no role in the takeover, other than to provide me with support and to ensure that I do the right deal.

"He is simply looking out for my interests."


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