What We're Reading

Portsmouth Sold to Al-Fahim

Sacha Gaydamak, the owner of Portsmouth, has agreed to sell the club to Dubai-born businessman Sulaiman Al-Fahim. Al-Fahim brokered the buyout of Manchester City last August for the Abu Dhabi United Group, an investment vehicle owned by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the billionaire member of the Abu Dhabi royal family.

Al-Fahim said last night: "I'm excited about the club and I've signed the memorandum. I was involved in the Manchester City purchase but this one is now mine."

The owners of Manchester City sidelined Al-Fahim after a few bold public pronouncements that created the impression that Sheikh Mansour was willing blindly to spend any amount of money for players. Al-Fahim, for example, suggested that Manchester City would spend $240 million on Cristiano Ronaldo. "Why not?" he said. "We are going to be the biggest club in the world, bigger than both Real Madrid and Manchester United." While the owners of Manchester City have tempered their claims, Al-Fahim continues to cultivate a brash public persona. He founded "The Hydra Executives," a TV show in the United Arab Emirates in the mold of "The Apprentice," in which Al-Fahim judges a competition for $1 million between Americans and Brits in the UAE property market.

If the deal between Al-Fahim and Portsmouth goes through, the club might have a tumultuous few months of transfers ahead. It remains to be seen how much money Al-Fahim will inject into the club to maintain some of its current players.

Read the whole story at The Guardian UK »

Next story loading loading..