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Thu 23 Jul 2009 04:20 PM

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Al Fahim pledges 'long term' plan for Portsmouth

Club's new owner says he wants to focus on youth academy rather than big name signings.

New Portsmouth owner Sulaiman Al Fahim has pledged to implement a “long term” plan for the club rather than bring in big name signings.

Earlier on Thursday, emails from Diego Maradona’s lawyer Angel Oscar Moyana claimed the soccer legend was ready to bring four international stars to club, if he was brought in as a global ambassador.

However, speaking this afternoon, Al Fahim told Arabian Business: “We have been working on a long term plan, and a lot of this involves developing the youth academy. That is how many of the best teams have succeeded in the past.”

He dismissed claims by Maradona’s lawyer that stars such as David Villa and Samuel Eto’o could be on their way to Portsmouth.

“That is maybe what he is suggesting but it is upto the manager Paul Hart who he will have in the team. I want to see a very organised and successful development of both the club and the team, and I don’t think rushing out and buying very expensive players is the way forward. 

"We have some solid plans to take the club to the next level. It is about planning not just for the next season but for the next ten years.”

Al Fahim added: “I have spoken before of my admiration for Diego Maradona and spoken with his cousin Remigio about it because we know each other through our United Nations humanitarian work. I think somebody like Maradona can be great for developing the youth academy and acting as an ambassador for a club, helping to grow it. But we are not in any talks.

"Some emails have been sent by his lawyer which have been printed, but those are the ideas of his people, not our people. We have our own plans and ideas which we will be moving forward with.”

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Johno 11 years ago

Must admit I have to wonder whether the reporter, Anil Bhoyrul, is on Al Fahim's payroll. He doesn't really seem to write about anything else but Al Fahim's not so glorious exploits....

Ovido 11 years ago

What happened to Dr. Fahim's dream project Hydra Village ? Mr.Bhoyrul, Please investigate and let us know.

Ali 11 years ago

What happened to Chess City? In 2004 Al Fahim said he was building Chess City where the residents would live in buildings the shape of Chess pieces.

Peter Walsh 11 years ago

As a season ticket holder at Portsmouth FC for many years, I would like to try to speak to Sulaiman Al-Fahim through your website. Mr Al-Fahim has said: - "We have some solid plans to take the club to the next level. It is about planning not just for the next season but for the next ten years.” At this moment in time, our club is dying on its feet whilst Mr Al-Fahim is standing by and appears to be doing nothing about it. The club is struggling to put out a team capable of competing in the Premier League. We are unable to buy players - and the club is unlikely to survive the next ten days - let alone ten years! The only solid plans seem to be to do nothing... Please, please do not play games with the supporters of this football club. You have vowed to listen to the fans - please listen now to their cries of anguish and frustration as this great club is days away from collapsing. Please complete the take-over or there will be soon be nothing left to take over.....

Paul Sumner 11 years ago

I must compliment Peter Walsh on his reasoned (and polite) request to Dr Al Fahim on the situation at Portsmouth. My beloved club that I have supported for 50 years through thick and very very thin are I would suggest a few days away from complete meltdown - will we even start the new premiership season, I have my doubts. We have been on the brink before, more than once, but I have never felt this insecure! They say 'silence is golden' - rubbish - we must be told what is going on and we must be told now. Many people here blame Peter Storrie, I don't, I think he is just as much in the dark as we are. Right now I can hear Southampton fans saying 'Well done Agent Sulamain - job well done" come on good Doctor - if tthis is the end tells us and put us out of our misery - if it is not as bad as it currently seems then tell us what we are missing because we cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel!

Pete Roffey 11 years ago

I have been a committed Pompey supporter for 50 years and Ive never known anything like this,why have we had to sell our best players to keep the club afloat when a Billionaire is going to takeover the club ? we have less than 2 weeks before the season starts and we are still selling and not replacing them,very soon there wont be a team to start the coming season,so come Doctor lets get our fingers out and put us all at peace and lets get this great club moving in the right direction.

HARRY 11 years ago