UAE buyers take over Pompey

LONDON - Portsmouth became the second Premier League club to be owned by investors from the United Arab Emirates yesterday when they confirmed a takeover led by Sulaiman al-Fahim.

LONDON - Portsmouth became the second Premier League club to be owned by investors from the United Arab Emirates yesterday when they confirmed a takeover led by Sulaiman al-Fahim.

"The owners of Portsmouth Football Club are pleased to announce that an agreement in principle has been reached over the sale of the club to Al Fahim Asia Associates," the club's website said.

It represents a welcome turnaround in fortunes for the south coast club who lost nearly £17million (R218million) in the 2007-08 financial year and who had to shelve plans for a new stadium.

Last season manager Harry Redknapp, who led them to the FA Cup title for the first time in 69 years, left to join Tottenham Hotspur while his successor Tony Adams was sacked.

Portsmouth then narrowly avoided relegation.

The takeover was rubber-stamped after the Premier League confirmed that Al-Fahim became the first person to pass their new "fit and proper" control for prospective club owners.

He will also become the club's chairperson. Al-Fahim, who has been in talks for some time with former Portsmouth owner Alexandre Gaydamak about buying the club, is looking forward to working with its management.

Manchester City are bankrolled by wealthy Abu Dhabi owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan. - Reuters

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