Pompey accept Al Fahim resignation

BY foxsports • February 22, 2010

Premier League strugglers Portsmouth have confirmed they have accepted Sulaiman Al Fahim's resignation as non-executive chairman.

The Premier League club is continuing to battle for survival under the threat of a winding-up order.

However, Portsmouth were left mystified as to why Al Fahim posted his 'private and confidential' resignation as non-executive chairman on a public website before informing the club of his intentions.

Al Fahim's resignation letter was posted on the Arabian Business website, with the former board member claiming he had not been made aware of the club's financial situation despite repeated requests.

Al Fahim announced earlier on Monday that he was to stand down and give his 10% shareholding to the Portsmouth's Supporters' Trust.

Portsmouth's director of communications Gary Double later confirmed: "We have received his resignation which has been accepted by the board."

The Dubai businessman was one of four people to have owned the ailing Premier League club this season, having taken over from Sacha Gaydamak last summer before selling Pompey to Ali Al Faraj.

Despite relinquishing ownership to Al Faraj, he retained a 10% stake in the club and was also given the position of non-executive chairman at Fratton Park.

Meanwhile, Pompey chief executive Peter Storrie is fuming over insinuations that the club's cash has been misappropriated in some way.

In an interview on ESPN's Soccernet, Storrie slammed veiled allegations that something untoward has occurred at Fratton Park.

TV coverage over the weekend raised questions about the money generated by a club that won the FA Cup two years ago.

It has since been revealed that the players have taken the biggest chunk of the money, the banks have recalled £40million of loans and the rest has gone in transfer fees.

All the figures have been declared to the courts and to the potential South African buyers, with a deal anticipated in the next 48 hours.

"If you want to know where the money has gone, look at the accounts," declared Storrie.

"It's no secret, we've had the report submitted to the courts. It's there for all to see.

"The bulk of the money has gone to the players in wages. The cost of the players' wages this year is £37million.

"Last season, when it was running at its height, it was £52million, and the year before it was £42million. The vast majority of the money over the last two to three years has gone on players' wages, and also on their transfer fees.

"It's all very well for Gary Lineker, Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson to look perplexed about where the money has gone by showing a chart of the players we've bought and looking at that £75million and adding that to £70million of debt and asking 'where's the £150million gone?'.

"In that period, we bought £50million-plus worth of players and paid out their salaries. The list showed one player sold for £18million, but they never took off the £4million sell-on fee to Arsenal or the fact that we paid £4million for him, so in reality we were paid £10million not the £18million shown, and that is just one example.

"I am fed up with everyone highlighting the debts without ever bothering to look at the assets of this football club.

"The assets of this club are its players, their value in the transfer market, and there are some players who we would value very highly. There is then the potential for 100,000 square foot of supermarket. You can imagine what that would be worth."

Storrie, however, remains hopeful that new owners, a South African consortium, could be in place before they return to the High Court on March 1.

"It's going to be a hectic few days," added Storrie.

"I am heavily in discussions and not been off the phone all day today again. The next couple of days could prove crucial, its going to be a very busy next 48 hours."


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