Perth owner Tony Sage is refusing to pull the pin, just yet, on the proposed sale of Glory to the cryptocurrency group London Football Exchange, despite its owner being a convicted fraudster and LFE currently being sued for $3.3 million in a London court.
Investigations by Perth Radio station 6PR have revealed the murky past of LFE’s flamboyant frontman Jim Aylward - whose real name is purportedly James Abbass Biniaz - leaving Sage’s mooted deal with the blockchain firm seemingly dead in the water.
LFE is fighting a legal battle with Turkmenistan oil trader Murat Seitnepesov, who claims he was defrauded over loans and the receipt of crypto tokens, which comprise LFE’s business model in its grandiose plan to purchase a global network of football clubs.
Seitnepesov contends that the tokens were rendered worthless by an LFE re-issue.
Aylward’s credibility was further undermined when, as James Abbass Biniaz, he was sentenced to 22 months in jail in 2010 for conspiring to defraud the UK tax office of over $200,000 in a bogus property deal.
Biniaz was also jailed in 2003 for robbery and fraud, according to a BBC report.
Sage, the newly appointed head of the LFE, insists that “due diligence” is on-going into the possible sale of 80 percent of Glory to LFE.
However, a source at FFA - which must sanction any transaction - said in the light of the facts that have emerged there’s “no way” the sale can proceed.
Sale said, via text message: “I don't get it. The club is not sold.
“I got an offer, sounded great. Went to London, met the backers. Great concept. My lawyers are checking it all out. That's what due diligence is.”
Aylward claimed last week a deal had been done, though specifics on how Glory would be paid were hazy at best.
“Any transaction takes time. It took three months for Manchester City to buy Melbourne Heart, 18 months for the Newcastle Jets to be sold and the Adelaide United sale took five months,” added Sage.
“It's only been three weeks since the approach and it's a very innovative idea so I’ve got to get my head around it. I’ve got good people working on it.
“We're sitting second in the A-League with a game in hand after losing our best attacking weapon for 12 months (Chris Ikonomides) with a knee.
“Off-field we scored BHP and WA Tourism for the AFC Champions League. They’re great sponsors.
“Again, I don't get all the drama. Once a deal is on or off I can chat, until then DD is being done.”