x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Al Fahim remains committed to Portsmouth

Portsmouth say the Abu Dhabi businessman Sulaiman al Fahim remains committed to his takeover plans.

Portsmouth say that Sulaiman al Fahim, left, remains committed to the club despite the sale of a number of their top players.
Portsmouth say that Sulaiman al Fahim, left, remains committed to the club despite the sale of a number of their top players.

Portsmouth say the Abu Dhabi businessman Sulaiman al Fahim remains committed to his takeover plans as the Premier League club tries to allay fears over its future. In a private e-mail revealed in an English newspaper today, Peter Storrie, the club's chief executive, said they had to sell players in order to survive while their position remains in limbo. That heightened fears over more top players leaving Fratton Park. The England internationals Peter Crouch and Glen Johnson have already been sold this summer. There is also the greater worry of the club going into administration unless the financial outlook improves and al Fahim can complete his buyout. But in a statement, the club said: "During this transitional phase the priority is to keep Portsmouth football club operating. "This is something we have successfully achieved since the current owner, Alexandre Gaydamak, announced his intention to sell nine months ago. No new finance has been available to us since that time. "The need to meet scheduled loan repayments to banks has meant that the club has had to sell players such as Lassana Diarra and Jermain Defoe in January, and more recently Glen Johnson and Peter Crouch. "While it is our intention to add strength to the existing squad we cannot rule out the possibility of having to sell more players should the takeover not happen. "However, we are assured that Sulaiman al Fahim is committed to buying the club and investing in all areas, including the playing personnel." The club admit they are facing a difficult season as they warned fans they will need time to stabilise if the takeover goes through as hoped. "Everyone at the club shares the frustration of supporters. We know only too well that we need to add to the first-team squad, but at this moment in time there is a limited amount we can do until the takeover is completed. "That is why Paul Hart [the manager] and the team need the support of the fans more than ever in what promises to be a tough season in the Premier League. "We can assure you that chief executive officer Peter Storrie, the board and everyone at the club is working tirelessly to keep the club running as professionally as possible in these difficult circumstances." akhan@thenational.ae