Al Fahim completes Portsmouth takeover

Jim van Wijk,Pa
Sunday 23 October 2011 05:36

Sulaiman Al Fahim today issued a statement announcing his investment group have completed their takeover of Portsmouth.

It had looked like a consortium led by Pompey chief executive Peter Storrie was set to complete a deal for the troubled south-coast club.

However, Al Fahim - appointed chairman at Fratton Park after passing the Premier League's fit and proper person test - claims he has now formally taken full control.

"Devondale Investments, the current owner of Portsmouth FC, and Al Fahim Asia Associates Ltd. (AAA), a company fully owned by Sulaiman Al Fahim, Chairman of the Board of Portsmouth FC, have reached an agreement whereby AAA has become the new sole owner of the club," said a statement sent to Press Association Sport by Al Fahim's representatives.

"Sulaiman Al Fahim welcomed this agreement and looks forward to helping the club build on its impressive history and achieve new successes in the Premier League.

"The chairman of the club would like to extend his gratitude to the players, staff and the supporters of Portsmouth FC who have shown an extraordinary level of commitment and loyalty to this great club."

The continued speculation behind the scenes has dogged manager Paul Hart all summer, following their successful battle against relegation last season.

England duo Glen Johnson and Peter Crouch were both sold to balance the books, while captain Sylvain Distin also expressed his intention to leave, with Aston Villa and Everton potential destinations.

The news of Al Fahim's deal having been finally completed will come as welcome news to the Fratton Park club, who have lost all three of their Premier League games so far, but returned to winning ways in the Carling Cup last night against Hereford.

Hart has been keen to strengthen his squad, and although there will not be limitless funds, Pompey are now expected to move quickly ahead of the September 1 deadline.

Watford forward Tommy Smith is reported to be close to finalising a £2million switch to Fratton Park.

Portsmouth are also believed to be closing in on Lens' Ivory Coast striker Aruna Dindane.

Richard Hughes was on target in the 4-1 win over the League Two side last night.

Distin was left out of the Pompey team with a foot injury, but Hughes maintains the players just have to focus on the job at hand rather than what may happen off the pitch.

"You can't worry about it - you have to keep on going," he said.

"We are Portsmouth players and I am sure I speak for everyone when I say we are proud to be Portsmouth players, but team-mates change.

"That is what happens in football.

"It is beyond the control of us as players. It is not our concern.

"We have got our own jobs to focus on and that is all you can control in football."

Hughes added in the Portsmouth News: "The club is in charge of who comes and who goes.

"I am sure that if there are players who leave between now and the end of the transfer window, replacements will be brought in."

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