Portsmouth owner to sell majority shareholding

Portsmouth's new owner Sulaiman al-Fahim is to sell the majority of his holding in the Premier League club to a member of one of Saudi Arabia's wealthiest families, he was quoted as saying on Sunday.

The Observer said Al-Fahim told the newspaper that a deal with Ali al-Faraj, a property investor with a personal holding in petro-chemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), would be completed within days.

Speaking from Dubai, Al-Fahim told the paper: "I think by Monday or Tuesday he will be on board. His consortium will be a major shareholder. And I will keep a minority."

Al-Fahim is recovering from a kidney stones operation on Friday which meant he had to postpone a meeting with the consortium scheduled for Sunday in London, The Observer said.

"Due to my situation I will need rest and meet them on Monday," Al-Fahim said. "My lawyers are in discussion with the consortium lawyers."

Portsmouth's precarious financial position was underlined on Thursday when the league's bottom club announced the first-team squad and executive board had not been paid.



Problems have arisen due to delays in refinancing the club by Al-Fahim, who completed his protracted takeover in August.

Last week the owner said he planned to inject 50 million pounds into the south-coast club to stabilise their financial position.

Al-Fahim told Sunday's Observer this finance would still be available, saying: "Still the club can have access to my new funding which will be ready in a few weeks -- the 50 million pounds announced."

Asked if he would still be chairman after the takeover, Al-Fahim said: "I have no idea who from the team will join the board. Next Tuesday we will have a clear picture.

"As I said I am there for the long term and it is good to have a few partners so if one decides to leave the other can buy more shares and the club is always safe. Therefore, I will be ready to invest more."