Al Fahim to decide on Portsmouth future next week

English football club faces winding up petition over unpaid taxes on March 1.
Al Fahim to decide on Portsmouth future next week
DECISION TIME: Sulaiman al Fahim has said that he expects to make a decision this week on whether to resign as chairman of Portsmouth FC. (Getty Images)
By Tamara Walid
Sun 21 Feb 2010 08:25 PM

UAE businessman Sulaiman al Fahim said on Sunday he expected to make a decision this week on whether to resign from his position as chairman or invest more in the debt ravaged English football club Portsmouth.

The club faces a winding up petition from Britain's Revenue and Customs office in the High Court for unpaid taxes on March 1 and had appealed for permission to sell players in a bid to raise urgent funds. However, the Premier League declined its request.

In October, Fahim sold 90 percent of the club's shares to Saudi businessman Ali al Faraj. Hong Kong businessman Balram Chainrai has since become the club's fourth owner in less than a year and will soon look to sell on to a fifth.

Fahim still holds the position of chairman at the club.

Speaking to Reuters, he said: "One team is advising me to resign to avoid any legal actions against directors in case the club goes into administration and the other team is advising me to buy more shares in the club."

Fahim added: "My lawyer and financial adviser want me to resign, but I will make a decision on Monday."

British media has reported over the last several weeks the club has debts of more than $107.7 million.

There is no guarantee the 112 year old club will still be in existence to play its next scheduled home match.

On Saturday, the club lost 2-1 at home to Stoke City, a result that left Portsmouth stranded on 16 points from 26 matches - eight points from the safety zone.

If the south coast club survives the winding up order, and are placed in administration, they will have nine points deducted. (Reuters)

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