Saudi Arabian businessman Ali al-Faraj has completed his takeover of English Premier League club Portsmouth, the club said late on Monday.
The club confirmed on their Web site that former owner Sulaiman al-Fahim had sold 90 percent of the shares to Falcondrone Limited, a company owned by al-Faraj, in a move freeing up funds to pay players and executives.
A statement on the Portsmouth Web site said: “The takeover will ensure Portsmouth Football Club’s future is safe and will bring financial stability. Once the takeover is complete the club will undergo refinancing in order to grow and develop every part of the business. Mr al-Faraj is very supportive of the club’s plans for a new training ground and the development of Fratton Park.”
Al-Fahim retains a 10 percent share in the club and will remain as non-executive chairman until at least the end of next season, while Peter Storrie will continue in his role as chief executive.
Al-Fahim was willing to relinquish full ownership in the “best interests” of Portsmouth, his spokesman Ivo Gabara said earlier, just 43 days after buying the club from Alexander Gaydamak.
Al-Faraj, 40, who will be joined on the board by his associate Mark Jacob, has already passed the Premier League’s fit and proper person test following his involvement in the consortium that attempted to buy the club in late August.
On that occasion, al-Faraj missed out when Gaydamak opted to sell his majority shareholding to AAA, but Storrie brought al-Faraj back to the table when doubts began to grow that al-Fahim could attract the necessary funding in time to stop the club going bust.
“He’s absolutely delighted and looking forward to working with the team and the players,” Jacob told Sky Sports News. “He is a huge supporter of the English Premiership and he’s delighted to get involved. I anticipate the players will get their salaries tomorrow [Tuesday].”
Portsmouth are said to owe millions to clubs, agents and the Inland Revenue. Al-Faraj is reported to have supplied the £5 million (US$8 million) bridging loan needed to pay the wages of club staff.
Al-Fahim was forced to refinance Portsmouth after banks demanded immediate payment of all television receipts and profits from the last transfer window, totalling £35 million.
Portsmouth prop up the Premier League after losing their opening seven matches — the worst start by an English top-flight club for 79 years.
• Sinon Bulls 11, Brother Elephants 2
• La New Bears v Brother Elephants (Chiayi City, 6:30pm)
• Uni-President Lions v Sinon Bulls
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very