Football

Al-Fahim set to sell

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Portsmouth are set to be taken over again after Sulaiman al-Fahim entered negotiations to sell his majority shareholding in the club to a consortium led by Saudi property tycoon Ali al-Faraj.

Al-Faraj is reported to have supplied the £5million bridging loan needed this week to pay the wages of club staff and looks set to buy out the majority of Al-Fahim's stake within a matter of days.

Al-Fahim told The Observer: "I think by Monday or Tuesday (Al-Faraj) will be on the board. His consortium will be a major shareholder. And I will keep a minority."

Al-Fahim, who has been recovering in hospital following an operation to remove kidney stones on Friday, said he will meet with representatives of Al-Faraj's consortium on Monday.

Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie has been key to bringing in the investment from Al-Faraj, and told the Sunday Mirror: "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 and subject to all the legal issues being sorted out, I am confident the deal should go through early next week."

Al-Fahim's takeover of Pompey was only completed in late August. It had looked then as though a consortium brought together by Storrie would buy out majority shareholder Alexandre Gaydamak instead, but Al-Fahim's company Al-Fahim Asia Associates Ltd (AAA) managed to conclude a deal first.

The news of a possible new buy-out provides a new twist to a turbulent period at Fratton Park. Matters do at least appear to be improving on the pitch, where Paul Hart's side ended a run of seven straight Premier League defeats by beating Wolves 1-0 at Molineux.

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Topics:
Portsmouth
Football
Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers

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