New Portsmouth owners promise January war chest

Portsmouth manager Paul Hart has been assured he will have money to spend in the January transfer window following Ali Al-Faraj's takeover of the club.

The Saudi oil tycoon last night agreed to buy 90 per cent of the financially-stricken Fratton Park outfit in a deal which saved Portsmouth from administration.

Hart was forced to cash in on the club's biggest names during the summer with England duo Glen Johnson and Peter Crouch sold in order to raise vital funds.

Portsmouth are now rooted to the bottom of the Barclays Premier League with just one victory from eight matches.

But chief executive Peter Storrie and Al-Faraj's lawyer Mark Jacob have both assured Pompey fans that every effort will be taken to ensure the club remain in the top flight.

"Ali is a passionate follower of the Premier League and wants Portsmouth to remain in the best league in world football," said Storrie.

"There will be money to spend in January to make sure we do not lose our coveted place in the top flight."

Jacob, who has joined the Portsmouth board, has confirmed the outstanding September wages would be paid by the end of today.

And in the longer term, he stated the club remains committed to developing a new training ground and building a new stadium.

Jacob said: "There is going to be substantial investment.

"We were ready to invest and push things forward six weeks ago so that was a missed opportunity. However, there will be funds available in January to ensure we are not at the wrong end of the table come the end of the season.

"Both (the training ground and new stadium) are part of our plans but the most important thing after this difficult period for everyone at the club is to achieve some stability.

"We will be working closely with the executive board and senior management on all aspects of the club's infrastructure and our goal is to improve every area of the business both on and off the pitch."

Al-Faraj was involved in a consortium that attempted to buy Portsmouth in late August but missed out on that occasion when previous owner Alexandre Gaydamak struck a deal with Sulaiman Al-Fahim.

Storrie brought Al-Faraj back to the table when doubts began to grow that Al-Fahim could attract the necessary funding in time to stop the club going bust.

"Naturally I am delighted personally as I had backed Mr Al-Faraj's bid initially," Storrie said on the club's website.

"However, all along the most important factor has been to make sure the club is financially secure and can move forward to ensure our Premier League survival.

"I have been very impressed with Mr Al-Faraj, his people and their commitment. They are very professional in their approach to the business and I believe that we will have some exciting plans ahead once again for this football club.

"Most of all I am pleased for the fans who have stuck by us through this very difficult period and also the staff who have continued to go about their business under trying circumstances."

Al-Fahim, who only bought the club 44 days ago, retains a 10% stake and the position of non-executive chairman.

His spokesman revealed today that the £50million funding Al-Fahim had promised to raise was now in place - and secured against his own personal assets - should Portsmouth require it.

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