Al Fahim completes Pompey takeover

SULAIMAN AL FAHIM yesterday got the green light to complete his takeover of Portmsouth &ndash; and then promptly handed caretaker boss Paul Hart a new two-year deal.<br /><br />The UAE-based businessman became the first prospective club owner to pass the Premier League&rsquo;s new fit and proper person test after having agreed, in principle, to take over from Alexander Gaydamak.<br /><br />Billionaire Al Fahim was the initial figurehead of the Abu Dhabi United Group which took control of Manchester City last summer, but has since ceased involvement with the club. Now, as sole owner and chairman of Al Fahim Asia Associates, he aims to stabilise Portsmouth as a top-flight club and build on its proud tradition.<br /><br />&ldquo;I very much look forward to working closely with the club&rsquo;s management and supporters to develop Portsmouth FC and deliver future success,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The club has a long and fine history of achievement that I intend to build on.&rdquo;<br /><br />Al Fahim&rsquo;s first job in charge was to hand interim boss Hart a new two-year contract after the 56-year-old successfully steered the club away from relegation after taking over from Tony Adams in February,<br /><br />&ldquo;Portsmouth are a fantastic club and it&rsquo;s a great honour for me to be manager,&rdquo; a delighted Hart added.<br /><br />Hart&rsquo;s first major role as permanent boss looks likely to oversee the transfer of wantaway striker Peter Crouch, whose career took another turn yesterday after Sunderland announced they had pulled out of the race to sign the 6ft 7in ace.<br /><br />The Black Cats looked set to complete a &pound;12m deal to sign Crouch this week, only for the England front man to indicate he would prefer to remain in the south of England rather than move to the north-east.<br /><br />That news has alerted Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, who brought Crouch to Fratton Park as manager of Portsmouth last summer.<br /><br />Redknapp has already admitted he would like to reunite Crouch with former strike partner Jermain Defoe at White Hart Lane.