Al-Fahim waits for Portsmouth offer

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The Independent Online

Portsmouth owner Sulaiman Al-Fahim expects to receive an offer for a majority stake in the club from a consortium led by Saudi property tycoon Ali Al-Faraj today.

Lawyers for the two parties are meeting in London and Al-Fahim has made clear he is willing to relinquish full ownership of the club if Al-Faraj tables a suitable offer.

Ivo Gabara, a spokesman for Al-Fahim, said: "Sulaiman's lawyers are engaged in talks with lawyers for Al-Faraj. He expects an offer to be made today.

"In the best interests of the club he is willing to forego full ownership and if or when an offer is on the table, it will be considered on its merits."

Al-Fahim, who only took over Portsmouth in late August, has been attempting to refinance the club after banks demanded the television receipts and profits from the last transfer window.

Portsmouth chief executive Pete Storrie revealed last weekend "there is no money left" and that 30 per cent of the £50m package Al-Fahim had pledged to raise is due by mid-October.

Al-Faraj is reported to have been involved in a consortium brought together by Storrie that was beaten by Al-Fahim to the initial takeover.

Storrie brought Al-Faraj back to the table when doubts began to grow that Al-Fahim would be able to raise the required funding in time. Al-Faraj is reported to have supplied the £5million bridging loan needed last week to pay the wages of club staff.

Storrie said over the weekend: "It was imperative that something had to be done to safeguard the future of this club.

"Portsmouth were completely skint and when it appeared funding from Sulaiman Al-Fahim wouldn't arrive in time to stop the club from being put into a perilous situation we had to do something.

"After prolonged talks with Ali-Al-Faraj we eventually came to a solution."

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