Russian Vladimir Antonov quits as chairman of Portsmouth soccer club

PORTSMOUTH, England — A Russian businessman arrested last week in connection with financial fraud in the Baltics has quit as chairman and director of the second-tier English soccer club Portsmouth.

Vladimir Antonov was detained and later released on bail along with a Lithuanian business partner following allegations of asset-stripping at two banks, Snoras Bank in Lithuania and its Latvija Krajbanka subsidiary in Latvia.

Antonov’s Convers Sports Initiatives was placed into administration — the British equivalent of bankruptcy — on Tuesday. Convers is Portsmouth’s parent company.

Portsmouth says the company responsible for operating the team — Portsmouth Football Club Limited — is continuing to trade and isn’t in administration.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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