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With Sulaiman Al Fahim taking over Pompey, the Fratton faithful are getting a huge personality in the boardroom.

And one of world's most expensive cars could be parked outside the ageing ground when he jets in on matchdays.

While outgoing Pompey owner Alexandre Gaydamak has continually shunned the limelight,billionaire Al Fahim loves the attention.

In the Arab world he is part of Dubai's super-rich elite and star of his own reality television show The Hydra Executives - our version of The Apprentice.

To boot he is author of the best-selling book Brand Builder, and has in the last year scooped an International Achievement award at the Middle East Awards in Dubai.

Dubai reporter Anil Bhoyrul, who writes for the website ArabianBusiness.com, said Al Fahim was a great character who was a regular feature in Arabic media.

He said: 'He is very charismatic, he's a big people person who is very entertaining.

'His catchphrase is "Impress Me" and he follows that through with his actions.

'He is very exciting to be around.'

The 32-year-old United Arab Emirates businessman also has a deep love for football and has already been a Premier League frontman.

Al Fahim represented the United Arab Emirates Royal family when they bought Manchester City from former Thailand prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra for £210m last summer.

It was the first major takeover of a Premier League club by an Arabic group, after an aborted attempt by Dubai International Capital to buy Liverpool FC in 2006.

Since last summer though Al Fahim and Manchester City have distanced themselves from each other.

In January Dr Al Fahim was interviewed by former newspaper editor and Britain's Got Talent judge Piers Morgan.

During the meeting he took Morgan for a ride in his private jet, explaining his take on the importance of money and living a lavish lifestyle.

The highlight of the trip was a ride in his car - the world's only Versace Lamborghini Murcielago.

The supercar cost him £400,000 more than a standard model just to add the Versace interior trimmings, and another £1.6m went on a number plate.

Away from the flash living and high-rise homes Al Fahim is a keen sportsman.

He is a regular chess player who represented his country at youth level and is president of the UAE Chess Association.

Through his company Hydra Properties, Al Fahim has investment in Dubai sports television, a Costa Rican soccer team and the German Bundesliga football league.

Al Fahim is currently building a new football academy in Abu Dhabi with Italian football giants Internazionale.

And he is currently the president of the Arab Union for Real Estate Development, part of the Arab League.

The tycoon also has a strong United Nations presence as a goodwill ambassador.

He has recently been working with Remigio Maradona - cousin of soccer legend Diego Maradona - in the UN battle against malnutrition and represents an intergovernmental institution that promotes the use of the food additive Spirulina< corr>. This can be used to combat malnutrition and help people in poorer countries.

Business leaders said Al Fahim would be a massive boost to the city as a whole.

Maureen Frost, chief executive of Portsmouth and South East Hampshire's Chamber of Commerce, said: 'He is undoubtedly one of the world's biggest businessmen and it will be of great benefit to Portsmouth that he has come here.

'Portsmouth's cup success came from the investment the current owner put in and hopefully he can secure the club's future.

'That will have a positive effect on business here, showing large companies that billionaires are prepared to invest.'

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Get in!

Al Fahim has agreed to take it on, so I am guessing Johnson, Crouch and co will be staying after all. Harry may be slightly miffed I think as he thoroughly expected us to sink like a stone.

Just a thought, maybe we could buy St. Mary's and use it as a training ground, after all they won't need it will they?

After all the years of us being threatened with administration and fighting relegation at the wrong end of the second tier, it has been an amazing adventure. Thanks once again to the excellent business mind of Peter Storrie it looks after all like it may continue...possibly as the second richest club in the Premier League.

A long way from when Venables almost sent us under!

Play up Pompey.

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I read he is looking to approach Diego Maradona as he wants to forge links with South America and Asia, to be honest I would have been content with Paul Hart to begin with but who knows now.

Erikkson has been mentioned again but I am not keen on that mate to be honest!

How about yourself?

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Build up the foundations of the club first.

Football academy, training ground, a new stadium.

Top ten finish, don't waste lots of money on players, build up slowly.

Be in for the long haul.

As far as a manager is concerned I don't really know.

Paul Hart and Brian Kidd had accepted offers on the table, how this stands legally now, who knows.

I think he wants a big personality in charge, but who.................

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We have had two previous owners, Milan Mandaric and Sacha Gaydamak who have steered the club in the right direction, unfortunately due to the credit crunch their plans had to be shelved.

They were both passionate about the club as the supporters, Sacha Gaydamak had been quoted "he would only sell to a new owner, if he was as passionate about the club and supporters as he was", he had already turned down 2 offers.

I believe Dr Sulaiman Al Fahim is in it for the long haul, he is a shrewd businessman, and No 14 in the Arab rich list I understand.

Pompey's future billionaire owner today thanked fans for their support and told them he would build 'a great club'.

Dr Sulaiman Al Fahim said he was attracted to Pompey as it was 'a real football club' with passionate supporters.

Speaking exclusively to The News, the Dubai-based property tycoon said: 'I have been overwhelmed by the response of Portsmouth supporters and I would like to say a big, big thank you to them all.

'It is no secret that many clubs had expressed an interest in speaking with me and our investment group but, from the very first moment, I have been tremendously impressed by the heritage of this club and the passion of its supporters.

'I think of myself as a real football fan and Portsmouth as a real football club. I believe this can be a great combination.

'I know that supporters are very keen to find out more about our plans but I hope they will forgive me that at this stage it is difficult for me to say too much until the full takeover process is completed.

'I would like to thank The News and all the Portsmouth fans for their kind messages of support over the past 24 hours.

'I am sincerely look forward to meeting with fans and sharing their hopes and ambitions for the future.

'It is vitally important that we all pull in the same direction and that I can help to deliver the success and the enjoyment which our supporters hope to see.'

Pompey have agreed a reported £60m deal, which will see control of the club pass from current owner Sacha Gaydamak to Al Fahim.

The deal is set to be rubberstamped next week following a period of legal and financial due diligence.

Dr Al Fahim added: 'Everything I have seen makes me sure that we can build a great football club in the years to come.

'Portsmouth has incredible history, and its fans are some of the most loyal in the world of football.

'I look forward not just to working with them, but listening to their views on how they want to take the club forward.

'I am the investor, but this is their club and their community – and it is a privilege to be taking charge.'

The billionaire sees making Pompey a brand name in Asia as a big part of his future plans for the club.

The club has already had success in the continent after winning the Barclays Asia Trophy in 2007.

Al Fahim said: 'We have a clear plan to strengthen the brand of Portsmouth FC.

'My investors in Al Fahim Asia Associates extend the branding network far into Asia, which we want to use.'

Al Fahim wouldn't give an exact date on when he will take control of the club as the legal papers were currently being drafted

But it could be as early as next week when he officially becomes the new owner.

Fans today welcomed the message from their prospective new owner. Nigel Tressider, chairman of the Portsmouth Supporters' Club, said: 'To hear this is absolutely fantastic, a man coming to our club and knowing that the fans are what makes the club, although he is the owner, is great.

'He couldn't have put it better. It is so encouraging to hear this, to say he would be glad to meet the fans is wonderful.

'We are absolutely over the moon. We really needed this and I am so pleased he has picked our club.

'We are a big club, because of our fans. We may not have a big stadium but hopefully he can sort us out with a ground in a few years.

'I would like to thank him very much for picking Portsmouth to be the club he wanted to take forward.'

Barry Dewing, of Pompey Independent Supporters' Association, added: 'When somebody has serious finances it is always useful to listen to the fans.

'Issues such as the stadium are massive issues for the fans and having a dialogue (with Al Fahim) will be a great way to move forward.

'He seems like a switched-on businessman and there has to be a double strategy of progress on the pitch and developing the infrastructure off it. I'm confident he will know the right way to go about that.

'Sorting out a new stadium has been an issue for decades and now we have a man who could deliver this.'

Tony Goodall, also from the Portsmouth Independent Supporters Association, told The News he was delighted the uncertainty surrounding the club had finally been lifted.

'We are glad someone has stepped in and bought the club,' he said.

'Hopefully they will take us to the next level.

'Let's just make the new stadium happen – that's the key to the future. All these chairmen have had these visions for the future but nothing has happened yet. We need to start laying down the foundations.'

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Training ground purchased some time ago, planning permission had already been given, but Sasha pulled the plug due to credit crunch.

New owner has now given permission for new tenders so that work can start immediately.

He's also given the go-ahead to re-develop Fratton Park.

Are me and you Scooby the only two Pompey supporters on here???????????

So things will be moving in the right direction shortly, all good news at the moment.

I shall now have to change my avater and find one of Fratton Park.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Transfer window closes at 5-00 pm on Tuesday, could do with a few more players in..........will be a very hard fight to stay up...................give SAF a chance to re-structure the club............see where we are at Xmas.......................at least we'll make a fight of our PL status................

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  • 1 month later...

Three well earned points and no wages and now the guy is selling up for a quick profit. When will the FA step in and stop these stupid deals. Its killing our game.

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Ali Al Faraj has been confirmed as the new owner of Portsmouth FC having bought 90% of the club. Al Fahim's company will keep hold of the remaining 10% and he will remain as chairman.

Seems very similar to the way it all happened at Man City? Al Fahim is the figurehead and then all of a sudden someone comes out of the woodwork? maybe me just being a sceptic.

Refinancing in place tomorrow and hopefully this is the end of a very long and frustrating few months for all Pompey fans. Lets just hope it is all not too late.

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Ali Al Faraj has been confirmed as the new owner of Portsmouth FC having bought 90% of the club. Al Fahim's company will keep hold of the remaining 10% and he will remain as chairman.

Seems very similar to the way it all happened at Man City? Al Fahim is the figurehead and then all of a sudden someone comes out of the woodwork? maybe me just being a sceptic.

Refinancing in place tomorrow and hopefully this is the end of a very long and frustrating few months for all Pompey fans. Lets just hope it is all not too late.


sorry for being honest but thats the way i am. up the VILLA!!!!!!!!!!!! :drink:

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