Brother defends Al-Faraj regime

BY foxsports • January 13, 2010

Fans turned on the club's hierarchy in their recent 4-1 home defeat to Arsenal, demanding answers about their perilous financial state. The players were paid late for a third consecutive month in January while the club are battling with HMRC over a £7million winding-up order, something they dispute. Pompey are currently under a transfer embargo and Ahmed Al-Faraj revealed his brother is working hard to overturn the Premier League's decision. He understands the fans' frustrations and said the regime plan to hold direct talks with supporters at a forum to ensure they are no longer kept in the dark. "So much seems to be against us," he told The Sun. "The transfer ban means we cannot compete fairly and we are arguing about the winding-up order, which we want set aside. "Then, when the fans are chanting against us, as they did at the Arsenal game, we do wonder why we are involved in this. "It is not nice when this is happening but we understand why the fans are sceptical. "They have been kept in the dark and don't really know what has been going on inside the club financially. "We will soon sit down with the supporters directly and explain everything at a big fans' forum. I will be there. "It has been a difficult time. But once the fans know what we've done and that Ali has put £40m into this club - including paying £12m to HMRC - while only recouping £13m through revenue, I'm sure they will appreciate us. "There was a misunderstanding when Ali was quoted saying he planned to sell the club quickly for a profit. "What he wants to do is bring in other investors. How could you make a profit out of Portsmouth right now? "There has to be a long-term plan and we have that. We were in a good position to take over last August and had £35m of backing from the banks. "But owner Sacha Gaydamak decided to sell to Sulaiman Al-Fahim instead. "Things had changed when we were asked to save the club six weeks later. If Ali had not stepped in, Portsmouth would have gone into administration. I'm sure of it. "But this club can still have a good future. Eventually, we want to be challenging at the top, not fighting at the bottom. "First, we have to stay up and we can only do that if the Premier League lifts our transfer embargo." Ahmed believes his family were always fighting a losing battle due to mistakes from previous owners Al-Fahim and Gaydamak. Despite the ongoing problem surrounding the Fratton Park outfit, Al-Faraj is staying positive, claiming they can save the club. "People don't seem to realise just how much my brother is investing here," he continued. "I can assure you he exists. I am texting him or ringing him every half-hour. "We are suffering for the mistakes of others and there is a huge amount of work to do. We worked through Christmas and New Year for 20 hours a day. "My wife calls Portsmouth my 'second wife' as I spend so much time working for this club. "We believe in it. We believe we can save it and are doing everything possible to achieve that. "We were not happy when the staff could not be paid. But there were other bills and we had to get the money there first. "We have the money, though. We are trying to clear everything. That is why we are so busy. "We didn't realise completely how deep those problems were. "We love football, too. This club has become like my home, my baby. It means everything to me. "The most important thing for the club to stay in the Premier League is to get players in to keep us there. It's the No 1 task."


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