Big-spending City blueprint for Pompey

Portsmouth fans saw first-hand on Sunday the impact a rich Arab owner can have on a club after Manchester City emerged as 1-0 winners from their Premier League match at Fratton Park.

Newly-enriched City, who have spent more than 200 million pounds on players since Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates took over the club last year, won their third successive league match of the new season against a Portsmouth side, also now under an Arab owner.

However, Pompey have lost all of their four league games and are bottom of the table.

City won with a 30th minute header from Emmanuel Adebayor, secured for 25 million pounds from Arsenal in the close season - his third goal in three league games for City.

In contrast, Portsmouth, in debt and desperately needing a new ground, have been selling their best players to raise funds.

But all that could change now Sheikh Mansour's friend Sulaiman Al Fahim, also from the UAE, has completed his takeover of the south-coast club.

"I am the chairman, the owner and a fan," he told Sky Sports, adding he did not want to sell any more players before the transfer window closed on Tuesday.


"I don't want to disclose how much money I am going to bring in, but it will be good enough to build a new stadium and support the club through the next window.

"If we can buy some players before the window closes we will do, otherwise we will do so next January (when the window reopens).

Portsmouth brought in four new players to bolster their squad on Friday and Al Fahim knows exactly what he needs to do to emulate City's transformation as he was involved in Sheikh Mansour's takeover deal at Eastlands last year.

He will need to act fast, however, if Pompey are to remain in the top flight after making their worst start to a season for 55 years.

Portsmouth manager Paul Hart said after Sunday's defeat:

"It is tough at the moment. We played very well today. We played with spirit and discipline against terrific players and went about our job in a proper way. If we can keep doing that we can turn things around."

Manchester City have already done so and after decades of mediocrity appear to be living up to pre-season expectations and mounting a serious challenge for a place in the top four.

With players like Adebayor, Carlos Tevez, Robinho, Kolo Toure and Gareth Barry now in their lineup, they have yet to concede a goal this season and have made a perfect start.

Manager Mark Hughes said: "We are keeping clean sheets and that always gives you a chance of winning games. We have come out of the blocks and made a statement and three league wins out of three is great for us".