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Aug 26, 2009

Al Fahim claims Pompey takeover is complete

Sulaiman Al Fahim claims to have completed his protracted takeover of Portsmouth by becoming the sole owner of the Premier League side.

Portsmouth announced on July 21 that an agreement had been reached to sell the club to Al Fahim and the Arabian businessman was installed as chairman after passing the Premier League's fit-and-proper-person test.

But doubts arose over his ability to complete the takeover when financial considerations meant the situation became painfully prolonged, with chief executive Peter Storrie fronting a consortium that launched a separate bid.

Storrie's group were widely expected to take control at Fratton Park but Al Fahim announced on Wednesday, via a statement from his representatives, that he had assumed full control of the club from previous owner Alexandre Gaydamak.

"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 released 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.''

Previous owner Gaydamak took full control of the club in July 2006 when buying out Milan Mandaric. He helped bankroll the club's FA Cup victory in 2008 but announced in December that he was seeking buyers for the club.

Storrie, meanwhile, revealed his disappointment at the news their consortium had missed out on the chance to takeover the club.

"A meeting was scheduled for 8.30am, but Sacha called me and asked to reschedule for 12. I asked him if there was a problem, as my people were getting nervous and he said no,'' Storrie told radio station The Quay.

"I am very, very disappointed, but its Sacha's club, he decides.''

Storrie pledged to continue working on some transfer deals, but would take some time to evaluate his own position following today's developments.

"My group is very unhappy,'' he said. "I really don't know whether that would be possible (to work with Al Fahim), but we just have to wait for everyone to calm down.''

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