Sulaiman Al Fahim is the new owner of Pompey riding out concerns raised from his connection with Sheikh Mansour Al Nahyan, owner of Man City and chairman of Hydra Properties, the real estate company which Al Fahim was CEO of till about four days ago as well as questions about where the money comes from to own the club.
He passed the EPL's proper and fit test to become the chairman of the club.
"We found no reason why Mr Al Fahim would be liable to be disqualified as a director of a Premier League club," read a statement.
"Accordingly we have advised Portsmouth FC that his appointment may proceed.
There still appears to be considerable confusion as to who funds the club. Pompey will not be privy to the sort of unlimited cash flow that City enjoys because Fahim's Asia Associates, the entity that owns the club is a PE firm that was set up primarily to acquire the club. Raising funds becomes their responsibility rather than relying on the immense coffers of UAE's royals or a single individual's wealth. Their investments remain below the 10% threshold required for disclosure. What matters is how these investors are placed in the economy and which sectors they come from that will determine cash flow for the club. Personally from Al Fahim's business model used to start real estate ventures, he is more of a money manager for other investors.
As for Al Fahim being booted out from his company, Hydra's commercial director Ahmed Khalil said that he would continue to work from a board position. He said this was a promotion and it was not linked to linked to investor complaints over Hydra's ability to deliver real-estate projects on schedule.
This is a move to shake off the negative media attention from Al Fahim, a flamboyant figure who runs his own TV show based on "The Apprentice", arising from a series of gaffes ranging from a dubious claim to a doctorate and the more serious one of running a real estate company that many investors claim is a Ponzi scheme. It is also resolves a potential conflict of interest which his CEO position brings up with the Al Nahyan family who run Hydra Properties and own City. Fahim's stepdown could also placate skittish investors who may have had serious concerns about Al Fahim's ability to run the club as well as deal with the myriad problems facing Hydra Properties.