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Al Faraj completes Portsmouth takeover

SAUDI property tycoon Ali Al Faraj last night completed his takeover of crisis club Portsmouth after acquiring a 90 per cent share in the Premier League club.<br /><br />Former owner Sulaiman Al Fahim completed his own buy-out of the club just six weeks ago but funds never materialised and players and staff went unpaid.<br /><br />Arab businessman Al Fahim, who underwent surgery to remove kidney stones at the weekend, spent much of yesterday locked in talks with lawyers of Falcondrone Ltd, a company owned by Al Faraj.<br /><br />The deal sees Al Fahim retain a 10 per cent share in the Fratton Park club and he will now become non-executive chairman. Long-serving Peter Storrie will also continue in his role as chief executive.<br /><br />Portsmouth currently lie rooted to the foot of Premier League table after starting the season with seven straight defeats, only to pick up their first points of the season with a 1-0 win at Wolves on Saturday.<br /><br />Now, Al Faraj has vowed to pay off mounting club debts and free up money for manager Paul Hart to strengthen his squad with new players in the January transfer window in order to boost the club&rsquo;s Premier League survival bid.<br /><br />Dubai-born Al Faraj has already passed the Premier League&rsquo;s fit and proper person test following his involvement in the consortium that attempted to buy the club in August.<br /><br />A statement on Portsmouth&rsquo;s website confirmed last night: &ldquo;The takeover will ensure Portsmouth Football Club&rsquo;s future is safe and will bring financial stability.&rdquo;