AN arrest warrant has been issued for the owner of Portsmouth FC.

Lithuanian prosecutors have issued a European arrest warrant for the Russian owner of Pompey in connection with hundreds of millions of dollars in assets stripped from a local bank.

They want to question Vladimir Antonov and his Lithuanian partner Raimundas Baranauskas about Snoras Bank, which Lithuania's government nationalised last week after discovering a huge shortfall in assets.

Prosecutors said that the two men are the main suspects in a pre-trial investigation into fraud and money laundering.

Lithuanian regulators have said the size of the asset shortfall could reach 1 billion litas (£250 million).

The 36-year-old Antonov spends most of his time in England.

The news comes just over three weeks before Saints visit Fratton Park for the first time in six years.

Mr Antonov is the latest in a line of owners of the Hampshire club in recent years.

Milan Mandaric sold the club to Sascha Gaydamak in 2006, who turn sold it on to Sulaiman Al Fahim. After a short period, he sold the club on to Saudi businessman Ali Al Faraj in 2009, who then sold it on to Balram Chainrai.

After the club went into administration in late 2009, Mr Chainrai took control once again before selling on to current owners Convers Sports Initiatives earlier this year.

Last week, CSI issued this statement: "In the light of the recent events at Snoras Bank, Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI) would like to reassure its companies, staff, and the fans of its teams and events, that it remains very much business as usual. We are operationally unaffected by the Snoras Bank entering temporary administration.

"CSI has been solely financed through the private wealth of its owners. Snoras Bank has never provided funding for the purchase of a CSI organisation, nor has it lent any money to these businesses after they have been acquired.

"We continue to look at expanding the CSI business and hope to announce a number of further acquisitions in the near future as well as continuing to support our existing businesses."