Fans wary as Al Fahim re-emerges in ownership race

Sulaiman Al Fahim meeting Pompey fans in 2009
Sulaiman Al Fahim meeting Pompey fans in 2009
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Sulaiman Al Fahim’s re-emergence in the Pompey takeover saga has an eerily familiar ring to it.

And it is memories of what has gone before which are tempering any thoughts of Al Fahim becoming the club’s saviour.

The self-proclaimed philanthropist has been linked as a front man for the mysterious Middle East group who have surfaced in recent days as a bidder battling to assume control of the club.

News of the group’s late appearance was enough to excite supporters at the weekend, until the chimes ringing out at the Broadfield Stadium on Sunday, following the win at Crawley, made way for alarm bells when Al Fahim’s name surfaced.

The reason for that, of course, is we all remember his ill-fated 40-day tenure at Pompey’s helm in 2009.

After a long, hot summer of promises and procrastination he finally assumed control of the Blues from Sacha Gaydamak.

But that was the start of a period as chairman which would have been comical if it wasn’t so damaging.

Some of the events which took place when Al Fahim was around, previously, were jaw-dropping.

Take his walkabout during the match against Manchester City, when he wanted to stop the game to greet supporters.

Or what about his plan to get Uefa to re-open the transfer window after dallying over his takeover.

A bigger concern, however, was his much trumpeted promise of a £50m injection into Pompey’s empty coffers which never materialised.

That has more than a little resonance with the statement from the club’s administrators, PKF, yesterday which explained they are looking for clarification on the £12.5m the bidders are said to have placed into a bank account to push a purchase forward.

You can’t doubt Al Fahim’s good intentions when it comes to Pompey.

And he scarcely deserves to be bandied in with some of the other shadowy figures who have pitched up at PO4 before and after he arrived.

Al Fahim has been present at games since his time at the club as nothing more than a supporter.

He has met with Balram Chainrai in Dubai and there are discussions with PKF taking place.

Among some cryptic tweets has been the offer of a place on the board for the Pompey Supporters’ Trust, too.

They obviously remain a key consideration as we head towards Friday, the day administrator Trevor Birch has circled for bids from interested parties to be on his table.

But when it comes to Al Fahim, the question remains today as it did three years ago: Show us the money.