ABU DHABI // Sulaiman al Fahim, the chairman of Portsmouth Football Club, has confirmed that he is trying to sell his majority stake in the English Premier League club to a consortium funded by the Saudi businessman Ali al Faraj and headed by Peter Storrie, the club's chief executive officer. Mr al Fahim, who is recovering in a Dubai hospital after a successful operation to remove kidney stones, acknowledged that discussions had been going on for weeks with Mr al Faraj, who is reported to have a significant holding in the Saudi petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries Corp."Negotiations started weeks ago, and we are now close to a lawyers agreement," Mr al Fahim said. He said he would be flying to London today for a meeting.
Although he seems ready to surrender control of the club, Mr al Fahim revealed that he would retain an interest.
"I want to retain a minority holding, and I'm seeking first refusal on any shares they might want to sell in the future," he said.
Portsmouth remains at the bottom of the division, but the club's stock rose slightly this weekend with a 1-0 win at Wolverhampton.