Arkadi Gaidamak's Son Buys British Premier League Soccer Team

Alexandre Gaidamak reportedly paid 25.8 million dollars for his share in Portsmouth FC.

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Portsmouth FC chairman Milan Mandaric will partner millionaire Russian businessman Alexandre Gaidamak in a move which could turn the soccer club into one of the wealthiest in the Premier League.

Portsmouth reached "agreement in principle" with Gaidamak over future shareholding and development, the club said on its Web site on Monday.

The Russian, reported to have paid 15 million pounds (US$25.8 million; -21.9 million) for his share, will be equal partners with Mandaric.

Gaidamak, who was also a French national, is the 30-year-old son of billionaire Arkadi Gaydamak, who owns Beitar Jerusalem.

Portsmouth said the move will not put pressure on manager Harry Redknapp, who has just returned to the club.

"There is no question of Harry Redknapp's position as manager of the club being under threat," Portsmouth said. "He will have the full backing of Mr. Alexandre Gaydamak and will continue to enjoy the full support of Milan Mandaric."

Redknapp said after his team's 2-1 loss at Blackburn on Monday he knew little about the deal but any new funds would be useful to his team's chances of avoiding relegation.

"I've not discussed it with Milan yet. I don't know where it's at yet," Redknapp said. "But if someone's going to come in and we are going to be able to improve the playing squad, which we need to do, it's got to be good for the football club."

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