Portsmouth gets a new owner

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/f/football.jpg' class='caption'> Sulaiman al-Fahim became the chairman of Portsmouth after his proposed financial takeover of the club was approved by the Premier League.

Updated: July 22, 2009 07:08 IST
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Portsmouth, England:

Sulaiman al-Fahim became the chairman of Portsmouth on Tuesday after his proposed financial takeover of the club was approved by the Premier League.

The United Arab Emirates businessman quickly made his first big decision, giving caretaker manager Paul Hart a two-year contract on a permanent basis.

The 56-year-old Hart steered Portsmouth clear of relegation danger after being promoted from his job as first-team coach in February when Tony Adams was fired.

Al-Fahim, who helped broker the takeover of Manchester City last September on behalf of an Abu Dhabi investment group, needed the league to be satisfied he was a fit and proper person to take control of the club from current owner Alexandre Gaydamak, who has decided to sell.

After the league's announcement, Portsmouth said Al-Fahim would join the board as chairman immediately.

"I very much look forward to working closely with the club's management and supporters to develop Portsmouth Football Club and deliver future success," Al-Fahim said. "The club has a long and fine history of achievement that I intend to build on."

Although Portsmouth won the FA Cup in 2008, the south coast club has not won the league title since 1950, which was the second of back-to-back successes.

The club was promoted to the top flight in 2003 under manager Harry Redknapp, who has had two spells with Portsmouth but left the club to join Tottenham last season. Pompey then finished 14th under Hart.

"This appointment brings stability to the club and is excellent news for Pompey supporters," said Peter Storrie, who is staying on as the club's chief executive. "I have every reason to believe that, together with the new chairman, we will be able to take the club forward to further achievements, building on the successes of the past three years."

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