Portsmouth: Sulaiman Al Fahim confirms Pompey interest
Former Portsmouth owner Sulaiman Al Fahim has confirmed he is part of a Middle East consortium hoping to buy the financially-troubled club.
Al Fahim had a short-lived spell as owner of Portsmouth in 2009 before selling to Ali Al Faraj and has used his Twitter account to confirm his bid.
"Yes I am involved, I hope the offer is better than other bidders," he wrote on the social networking site.
Pompey are currently in administration, with debts of about £61m.
The Pompey Supporters' Trust and former owner Balram Chainrai are both vying for control of the League One outfit.
On Monday administrators PKF confirmed a Middle East consortium was interested in the club and said they were "waiting for clarification on funding".
The battle for Portsmouth
- The Portsmouth Supporters Trust - A supporter led consortium backed by several 'high net worth' individuals including local businessman Iain McInnnes.
- Portpin - Led by former 'reluctant owner' Balram Chainrai who currently owns Fratton Park.
- Laurence Bassini - The former Watford owner has registered his interest.
- Middle East consortium - Yet to present clarification of funding but could yet be a fall back option, and is now known to include Sulaiman Al Fahim - a former owner of the club.
A report by the Dubai-based magazine Arabian Business said the potential Middle East investors had put $20.4m (£12.77m) into an account held by Dubai Bank on 30 August.
London-based accountancy firm Born & Co are believed to be representing the Middle East consortium and Al-Fahim added that he hoped to deposit the money into a UK bank to show proof of funds.
"The £12.5m is in [a] bank account," he wrote on Twitter.
"Time is so important for Pompey, hopefully we can open a UK bank account before the deadline and be part of the bid."
Portsmouth have been in administration since February, following the collapse of parent company Convers Sports Initiatives.
The PST and Chainrai's company, Portpin, have both had a Company Voluntary Arrangement of two pence in the pound agreed by unsecured creditors of the club, with administrator Trevor Birch currently assessing which bid is the best offer.
Chainrai is owed £17m by the club and holds Fratton Park as security but the PST has offered him £2.75m to relinquish his hold on Pompey.
Birch has set the pair a deadline of Friday, 14 September to finalise their bids for the club.
He had said that, as neither deal was close to completion, he was unable to decide which offer was in the best interests of creditors.
Last month, former Watford owner Laurence Bassini registered his interest in Portsmouth.
However, the advanced nature of the current talks with Chainrai and the PST, as well as the urgency with which a deal needs to be completed, meant Bassini was not considered a serious option at this stage.
It is thought that the same would apply to Al Fahim's bid.
But if Birch is still not satisfied with the bids from the PST and Portpin, then he could start to pursue other options.