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English Premiership

Pompey takeover deal gets approval

LONDON, July 21 – Dubai-based businessman Sulaiman Al Fahim has been cleared to complete his purchase of Portsmouth after passing the Premier League's fit and proper persons test, the club confirmed on Tuesday.PETER_CROUCHAl Fahim, 32, struck a deal to buy the club from current owner Alexandre Gaydamak in May before entering a period of legal and financial due diligence.

An official statement from the club said: "The Premier League can confirm that Mr Al Fahim has submitted all the documentation required to satisfy our fit and proper persons test.

"Based on the information provided the League has found no reason why Mr Al Fahim would be liable to be disqualified as a Director of a Premier League club.

"Accordingly we have advised Portsmouth FC that his appointment may proceed.

"As with all changes in club ownership the Premier League will continue to monitor any material changes in circumstance."

The club confirmed that Al Fahim has joined the Portsmouth board as chairman with immediate effect.

"I very much look forward to working closely with the club’s management and supporters to develop Portsmouth Football Club and deliver future success," Al Fahim said.

"The club has a long and fine history of achievement that I intend to build on."

Peter Storrie, who has agreed to continue as Portsmouth’s chief executive, added: "This appointment brings stability to the club and is excellent news for Pompey supporters.

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"I have every reason to believe that together with the new chairman we will be able to take the club forward to further achievements, building on the successes of the past three years."

Al Fahim was the initial figurehead of the Abu Dhabi United Group when they took control of Manchester City in the summer of 2008.

He is no longer involved but did not drop his interest in the Premier League.

Earlier this year, Al Fahim was reported to have inquired about buying Chelsea from Roman Abramovich as part of a consortium believed to have bid more than 700 million pounds.

But he eventually settled on Portsmouth and plans to overhaul the Fratton Park club, who finished 14th in the Premier League this season, a year after winning the FA Cup.

Gaydamak had announced last December he was looking for a buyer because he was unable to devote sufficient time to the club.

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