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Pompey latest mega-takeover?

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Portsmouth are close to being taken over by United Arab Emirates businessman Sulaiman Al Fahim, BBC Sport understands.


Al Fahim was the frontman for Abu Dhabi United Group when it took over Manchester City in September 2008.


He is believed to be a guest of Pompey owner Alexandre Gaydamak's at the Champions League final in Rome where the two held talks.


Pompey have yet to make any comment on a takeover of the club.


Gaydamak stated late last year that he wanted to sell the club.


He revealed he had rejected two offers for the south coast outfit as he wanted to sell to a buyer who would be committed to funding a new stadium and training ground for the club.


Gaydamak initially bought into Pompey as joint owner in January 2006 when he struck a deal with then-chairman Milan Mandaric.


He then bought out Mandaric, who now owns Leicester City, for about £32m.


Under the Franco-Russian's ownership the club won the 2008 FA Cup but he has said he can "no longer invest the time required to oversee the running of the club".

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  • 8 months later...

And another one


Crisis club Portsmouth have fourth owner of the season



Premier League crisis club Portsmouth have been taken over by their fourth different owner of the season.


Hong Kong-based businessman Balram Chainrai has bought 90% of the club's shares from previous owner Ali Al Faraj after invoking a repayment clause.


BBC sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar said: "He is understood not to be interested in a long-term ownership, just averting the current crisis."


Chainrai's company Portpin may sell the club before the end of the season.


A Pompey spokesman said: "Portpin have exercised a clause in their contractual agreement to take a controlling interest. They are taking control on a temporary basis to allow new owners to be found.


"Portpin's aim is to come in and stabilise the club, sort out the business with the winding-up order from HMRC and sell it on to new owners.



"New directors will be appointed to the board and Peter Storrie will remain as chief executive and will be running the club."


Farquhar added on BBC Radio 5 live: "Chainrai has invoked a clause in a loan contract he struck with the club's third owner this year, Ali Al Faraj, giving him the right to take over 90% of the shares should they default on repayments to him.


"He recently loaned the club £15m to £20m to help get them through their current financial crisis, which still isn't resolved and now the loans have not been repaid he's the new owner of the club on that basis.


"The thing is, for people like Chainrai and former owner Sacha Gaydamak that the money they have put into the club would be lost if Portsmouth went into liquidation.


"That's the real risk for them, so they need to keep the club afloat by doing whatever they can."


Pompey have lurched from one crisis to the next in recent months, with the club facing a winding-up petition from HM Revenue & Customs at the High Court on 10 February.


They have been late paying wages four times this season and chief executive Peter Storrie appeared before a crown court accused of tax evasion in January.


Meanwhile, Pompey manager Avram Grant said he will continue to try to save the Premier League strugglers but remains non-committal about his long-term future.


The cash-strapped club remain rooted to the bottom of the table after a 1-0 defeat by Fulham on Wednesday.


Key players Asmir Begovic and Younes Kaboul were sold against Grant's wishes in January and the club face a winding up on 10 February for unpaid taxes.


But Grant stated: "As long as I am here, I will keep fighting."


Portsmouth have been late paying wages four times this season because of debts of £60m and the players' wages for January were finally paid on Wednesday.


But, for the moment, Grant is committed to trying to keep Portsmouth in the top flight, with a trip to Manchester United the next challenge on Saturday.


"I think that we need to do our best all the time and as long as we have a chance, we have to fight," he added.


"It's a very interesting time because it's very hard times off the pitch but what I see on the pitch I'm very proud of the players. I think if everything was a little bit more calm the results would be even better."


Pompey and England goalkeeper David James told BBC Radio 5 live of the "frustration" felt by the players at the situation.


"You try and tell the lads that you do get paid even if it's a week late, 10 days or whatever - we are getting paid one way or the other," said James.


"We're not sure if we've got anyone else to sell to get paid.


"The fact is we do get paid and there are other clubs with players who aren't getting paid and historically there have been other clubs that players haven't got paid, so it could be worse."

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It seems crazy that a club can have four owners in the space of six months - in fact i am shocked the Premier League would allow this to happen. Lets hope the latest owner knows what he has on his hands and actually can afford to pay the players now. There seems to be some opinions that foreign owners are essential for success in the Premier League[/url], and i hope a time does not come when there are no English owners up there. It is certainly seeming that way at the moment - foreign and rich equals success - but what has been going on at Pompey must show there are some possible drawbacks to this plan, especially if all the investment is not well planned out.

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said hes in to stabilise the club then sell in summer, wonder how much he got it for 'cause they look destined for the drop to me, no transfer window between now and then for him to invest in


He got it as Al-Faraj (or whatever he's called) defaulted on a loan repayment which triggered a clause allowing this new fella to take ownership. He's doing it basically because if he doesn't then the club will go into administration and he's highly unlikely to see any of the money he's owed by them.

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