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League Will Investigate Portsmouth Takeover
Guardian, May 29th, 2009 3PM
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The Premier League is preparing to use Sulaiman Al-Fahim's takeover of Portsmouth as a test case for its strengthened fit-and-proper-persons rule, a policy due for introduction next week. Al-Fahim, a charismatic Dubai property investor, declared that he would conduct the takeover using his "Al Fahim Asia Associates" instrument, which he described as being "structured like a closed-end private equity fund." A source with knowledge of the deal said Al-Fahim owns the fund but that it had numerous investors who had pledged their money on condition of anonymity.

Such anonymity, however, might not provide the transparency that the league now requires. "We should know and the public should know and the fans should know who owns their club," league chief executive Richard Scudamore said. The league's new rules will demand that shareholders details get exposed to the league and the public. Al-Fahim's attempted takeover of Portsmouth will be the first to fall under the policy.

The investigation might take weeks or months. The club believes it will take one to two weeks but a spokesman for Al-Fahim indicated it would not be completed until July. Even in the best-case scenario it will take Portsmouth past the opening of the transfer window on June 1, potentially obstructing the club's ability to stir up the transfer market. Read the original story...


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