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Page last updated at 10:49 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 11:49 UK

Portsmouth edge closer to buy-out

Sulaiman Al Fahim
Al Fahim previously helped broker a deal for Man City

Portsmouth have moved a stage closer to a sale of the club to Arab businessman Sulamain Al Fahim, according to BBC Radio Solent.

A spokesman said the 'terms sheet' has been agreed and signed but the sales and purchase agreement needs finalising to close the transaction.

Al Fahim has been named Pompey chairman after passing the Premier League's fit and proper person test.

Paul Hart was appointed permanent boss after impressing in his caretaker role.

The 56-year-old replaced Tony Adams last season and led the club to Premier League safety with 17 points from 14 games.

Hart was Pompey's third boss in a turbulent 2008/09 campaign after Harry Redknapp left the club for Tottenham in October and then Adams was sacked in February.

"Portsmouth are a fantastic club and it's a great honour for me to be manager," Hart told the club website.

"The players responded brilliantly to the challenge when I was handed the role last season and I'm looking forward to continuing that relationship."

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Al Fahim revealed he was impressed with the impact the former Leeds and Nottingham Forest defender had after taking over at Portsmouth last season.

"Paul did a great job keeping the team in the Premier League and having previously worked as the director of youth operations he knows the club inside out," he stated.

"He has immense experience and great knowledge of the game and commands the respect of the players. I'm looking forward to working with him."

Prior to last week's announcement confirming Hart's future, the south-coast club revealed the long-term future of the club was also looking more secure with the arrival of Al Fahim.

"The owners of Portsmouth are pleased to announce that an agreement in principle has been reached over the sale of the club," said a statement.

Paul Hart
Al Fahim said Hart "knew the club inside out"

Al Fahim is the sole owner of Al Fahim Asia Associates, the company that will officially own Portsmouth.

The 32-year-old agreed to buy Pompey from owner Alexandre Gaydamak in May after the Franco-Russian announced he wanted to sell because he was unable to devote sufficient time to club.

He finally completed a period of financial and commercial due diligence of the club last week.

"I very much look forward to working closely with the club's management and supporters to develop Portsmouth Football Club and deliver future success," said Al Fahim.

"The club has a long and fine history of achievement that I intend to build on."

The Premier League also confirmed it had given the deal the go-ahead.

"We found no reason why Mr Al Fahim would be liable to be disqualified as a director of a Premier League club," read a statement.

"Accordingly we have advised Portsmouth FC that his appointment may proceed.

"As with all changes in club ownership, the Premier League will continue to monitor any material changes in circumstance."

Peter Storrie, who has agreed to continue as Portsmouth's chief executive, added: "This appointment brings stability to the club and is excellent news for Pompey supporters.

"I have every reason to believe that together with the new chairman we will be able to take the club forward to further achievements, building on the successes of the past three years."

Portsmouth released six out-of-contract players this month, while striker Peter Crouch moved to Tottenham for a fee believed to be in the region of £10m earlier this week, but fans will now be hoping for some new arrivals before the season begins next month.

Al Fahim was the initial figurehead of the Abu Dhabi United Group when they took control of Manchester City in the summer of 2008, although he is no longer involved at Eastlands.



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see also
Portsmouth eye Finnan and Kalinic
28 Jul 09 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth deny Shinawatra link
13 Jun 09 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth agree to takeover bid
27 May 09 |  Portsmouth
Hart backed to get full-time job
18 May 09 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth confirm Adams sacking
09 Feb 09 |  Portsmouth


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