Al Fahim excited by Portsmouth deal

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Portsmouth's prospective new owner has expressed his excitement about purchasing the south coast club.

Property tycoon Sulaiman Al Fahim is due to complete his takeover within the next few weeks following a period of formal financial and legal due diligence.

Al Fahim will then finally have his hands on his own Premier League club, having previously acted as the initial figurehead when Abu Dhabi United Group took control of Manchester City last summer.

Al Fahim became an increasingly peripheral figure as Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed took charge, although his involvement inspired him to pursue Portsmouth.

"I'm excited about the club, and I've signed the memorandum," said Al Fahim, who was last night in Rome to watch Manchester United's 2-0 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.

Speaking to Abu Dhabi newspaper, The National, he added: "I was involved in the Manchester City purchase, but this one is now mine."

Al Fahim is planning a firm hands-on role, in contrast to current owner Alexandre Gaydamak who has been unable to devote the time he would have liked to Pompey, forcing him to seek a buyer.

Al Fahim, who is planning to travel to Britain "every weekend" to watch Portsmouth in action, confirmed some of his plans for the club.

He added: "I will develop the football academy there to develop local talent, as well as try to bring in some new players and set up relationships with clubs in Europe, Asia and Africa."

Al Fahim has been warned it will take a considerable portion of his vast wealth to help transform Portsmouth after the club's battle to beat relegation this season.

Nigel Tressider, chairman of the official Portsmouth FC supporters club, said: "It's fantastic news.

"He will be welcomed with open arms by the terrific Portsmouth fans.

"I don't think he would have bought the club unless he has enough money to put it on the right track, and that is going to take a lot of money, hundreds of millions of pounds."

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