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Rediff.com  » Sports » UAE's Al-Fahim takes over Portsmouth

UAE's Al-Fahim takes over Portsmouth

July 22, 2009 11:27 IST

Portsmouth became the second English Premier League club to be owned by investors from the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday when they confirmed a takeover led by Sulaiman al-Fahim.

"The owners of Portsmouth Football Club are pleased to announce that an agreement in principle has been reached over the sale of the club to Al Fahim Asia Associates," a statement on the club's website said.

Portsmouth also announced that Paul Hart had signed a two-year contract as manager after steering them clear of the relegation zone in a caretaker role last year.

The likely injection of significant funds represents a welcome turnaround in fortunes for the south coast club who lost nearly 17 million pounds ($28 million) in the 2007-08 financial year and who had to shelve plans for a new stadium.

Last season manager Harry Redknapp, who led them to the FA Cup for the first time in 69 years in 2008, left to join Tottenham Hotspur while his successor Tony Adams was sacked.

The takeover was rubber-stamped after the Premier League confirmed that Al-Fahim was the first person to pass their new "fit and proper" control for prospective club owners.

DELIVER SUCCESS

Al-Fahim, a board member of the Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment and who fronted the bid from Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan for Manchester City last year, will also become the club's chairman.

"Based on the information provided the League has found no reason why Mr Al-Fahim would be liable to be disqualified as a director of a Premier League club," the Premier League said.

Al-Fahim, who has been in talks for some time with former Portsmouth owner Alexandre Gaydamak about buying the club, said he hopes to deliver success to the club.

"I very much look forward to working closely with the club's management and supporters to develop Portsmouth Football Club and deliver future success," Al-Fahim said. "The club has a long and fine history of achievement that I intend to build on."

Chief executive Peter Storrie said the takeover is great news for the fans.

"I have every reason to believe that together with the new chairman we will be able to take this club forward to further achievements, building on the successes of the past three years," he said.

Portsmouth released six out-of-contract players this month but fans will now be hoping for some new arrivals before the season kicks off next month.

Manchester City have spent millions in the transfer window, bringing in the likes of former Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor from Arsenal.

Source:
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