Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Al Fahim completes Pompey buy-out

Arab businessman Sulaiman Al Fahim has completed his takeover of Premier League strugglers Portsmouth.
The 32-year-old has become the club's new sole owner after a buy-out believed to be worth £60m.
"Sulaiman Al Fahim welcomes this agreement and looks forward to helping the club build on its impressive history," his spokesman said.
Al Fahim had already been named Pompey chairman after passing the Premier League's fit and proper person test.
Portsmouth released a statement saying: "The chairman of the club would like to extend his gratitude to the players, staff and supporters of Portsmouth FC who have shown an extraordinary level of commitment and loyalty to this great club."
A source close to outgoing owner Alexandre "Sacha" Gaydamak told the BBC: "Sacha is delighted the deal has been finalised and is really pleased the club can now move forward in the best possible way.
"He would also like to thank Portsmouth's supporters for their continuing loyalty to the team and wishes them all the best for the future."
The news comes a week after the club revealed it was in a talks with a new consortium led by chief executive Peter Storrie.
Al Fahim is the sole owner of Al Fahim Asia Associates, the company that now officially owns Portsmouth.
He agreed to buy Pompey from Gaydamak in May after the Franco-Russian announced he wanted to sell because he was unable to devote sufficient time to club.
He finally completed a period of financial and commercial due diligence of the club last month. The Premier League also confirmed it had given the deal the go-ahead.
Al Fahim takes over a club in turmoil both on and off the field.
Paul Hart's men have lost all three of their league games this season, scoring just one goal.
The club were forced to sell England internationals Glen Johnson and Peter Crouch this summer to reduce a reported debt of £44m, while centre-back Sylvain Distin is believed to be on the verge of a move to Everton.
Al Fahim was the initial figurehead of the Abu Dhabi United Group when they took control of Manchester City in the summer of 2008, although he is no longer involved at Eastlands.

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