Pompey chairman Sulaiman al Fahim has announced today that he expects Portsmouth’s transfer embargo to be lifted later on this week.
According to al Fahim, owner Ali al Faraj has completed a re-financing of the club through international institutions, bringing much stability.
Whether al Fahim can be believed however remains another question.
Over the past few months, al Fahim has been associated as a liar, a fraud and in some cases, a joke, for his mishandling of the club and it’s finances.
Yet speaking to ArabianBusiness.com, al Fahim remained surprisingly optimistic about Portsmouth’s future.
He said: “The money is being secured against future television income, and will be used not just to clear debts to fund the acquisition of new players.”
Worryingly, al Fahim believes he has been given an option to raise his shareholding in the club. The UAE businessman currently owns 10% after selling 90% to al Faraj last month.
“They want me to play a wider role in developing the club, so it is something I am considering. I have always said I will be interested in increasing my shareholding because I believe in the future of the club, so we’ll see.
“But that is secondary. What is important is we now have the financial stability needed to move forward.”
Fahim has often been criticised in the past for speaking indirectly to Portsmouth fans, often using ArabianBusiness.com and more recently, Reuters, as his official news outlets.
Speaking to Reuters, al Fahim believed the transfer embargo will be lifted by either Tuesday or Wednesday, after all outstanding payments have been paid.
“(We) met with financial advisers of the consortium and the threat of the petition on the club is no longer there.
“The club has made the revenue payments and the embargo on the club will be cleared by Tuesday or Wednesday.
“The club has secured financing and will start to become stable by the end of this week.”
In a further bid to win over fans, al Fahim has offered to give back the club’s property rights in order to upgrade Fratton Park.
“We will have our first official board meeting on 1 December and I am giving back the property rights to the club so they can upgrade the current stadium.”
This piece of news will certainly be encouraging to Pompey fans, who have endured one of the most hectic openings to a season in modern footballing times.
Despite the chaos surrounding the club, on-the-pitch the players have produced a spirited performance in each and every game this season.
While luck has not always been on their side, they have never let their heads drop.
And, maybe, finally, stability may just arrive at the door of Fratton Park.
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