Who is Balram Chainrai? It’s a question we must all ask ourselves at one point or another, but one most of us can happily shrug off as completely unimportant as last night’s Chinese has heated up sufficiently now and Diagnosis Murder is on anyway. If you’re a Portsmouth fan however, you might want put off the excitingly sanitized adventures of Dick Van Dyke and his many many sons and delve deeper into this mystifying enigma.
Chainrai, – who has become Portsmouth’s 4th new owner in a year, possibly setting some kind of disasterous record in the process – is a Hong Kong based business man of Nepalese extraction (which sounds painful) and has taken over the 90% stake in the club previously held by Ali al-Faraj. Pompey fans might be perturbed to know that Chainrai was omitted from Forbes recent list of the top 40 richest Hong Kong businessmen (which is great bathroom reading material by the way) meaning his fortunes stands at somewhere under the paltry sum of £530m. Pah!
The 51 year old had loaned the troubled south coast club £17m last October through his company Portpin in order to ensure they met their tax demands, but it’s thought the bulk of the money went on buying superfan John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood a bigger hat. Due to this, Chainrai and Portpin froze Al-Faraj’s stake – and possible Al-Faraj himself – and seized control of the club instead.
But who is he? I hear you ask, and why does no one stop an elderly hospital employee from brazenly intervening in literally hundreds of murder investigations? Well I can’t answer the second one I’m afraid, but the Nepali investor holds a British passport and apparently made his fortune selling electronic products and mobile phones, with another of his companies – Hornington – in the mid 1980s. It is unconfirmed whether or not he did this out of the back of a yellow 3 wheeled van, and Harry Redknapp was unavailable for comment on the matter yesterday, he told reporters on his nice new BlackBerry Curve 8520
Chanrai also owns a string of fitness clubs in Hong Kong and apparently hopes to attract new investors to the club whilst in charge, presumably meaning they’ll reach at least 5 owners before this situation is resolved, but whether or not that’ll be enough to cover all of David James unpaid parking tickets remains a mystery only Dr. Mark Sloan M.D can solve.