Football Management

Commentary on the management of over 160 English football clubs by Dr John Beech, winner of the FSF Writer of the Year Award 2009/10 Twitter: @JohnBeech Curator of! Football Finance

Fit and Proper Person Tests – news of graduates

Posted by John Beech on October 17, 2009

During the course of yesterday, news emerged of ‘Dr’ Al Fahim, a PL graduate of 2009 (1).  Normally I sprinkle my postings with these numbered click-throughs out of academic habit, the citation of my sources, but on this occasion I would strongly encourage readers to look at the full interview which Al Fahim gave to asharg alawsat, which describes itself as ‘The leading Arabic International Daily’.  Don’t worry, the click-through is to their official English version.

Al Fahim makes some amazing statements.  He argues that Premier League clubs in debt (well, that doesn’t really cut the field down much, does it?) are easy pickings for a quick profit.  Asked about his reasons for selling Portsmouth after owning it for only six weeks, he replies “It was purely a matter of investment. I saw that there was a good opportunity in selling for an excellent profit. Praise be to God as Ali al Faraj’s [another PL graduate of 2009; JB] presence helped me a lot, as he was interested in buying the club when I was negotiating with the former owner. That helped me buy the club and then put it up for sale again“.  So presumably when he said on 28 May “I’m excited about the club, and I’ve signed the memorandum” (2) what he meant to say was ‘I’m excited about the quick profit I’m going to make when I get Ali Al Faraj to sign the next memorandum’.

He also states that he made a profit of £10 million by buying the club for £60 million and promptly selling 90% of the shares for £70 million.  Clearly a nice little earner, and just the sort of thing a Fit and Proper Person would do.

He continues “I will remain head of the club’s board of directors for two seasons. Moreover, I kept 100 percent of the club’s real estate assets and this is something nobody has paid attention to or spoken about. I am announcing this for the first time that [the real estate assets] are owned by the Al Fahim Group. Without doubt the real estate aspect is important in sports investment. Praise be to God, I was able to transfer all the club’s debts to the new owner and I gained excellent revenue.

Words fail me for once, other than to point out I have added a probably long overdue ‘Ethics’ tag for postings.

I wonder if Al Fahim reads the Jewish Chronicle.  If you are not familiar with this newspaper, it was founded in 1841 and describes itself as ‘the world’s oldest and most influential Jewish newspaper‘.  Yesterday it covered the ongoing Portsmouth saga with a piece on Avram Grant: The Real Story. Again, I would commend clicking through and reading the whole article, with a whole new twist to the Fratton Fiasco.  Of particular intgerest is the statement by Mark Jacob, Ali Al Faraj’s nominee on the Portsmouth board, that “My client owns 100 per cent of the company that owns Portsmouth“.

Time for some clarification, not that I suspect we will get it. Certainly time some attention was indeed paid to Al Fahim’s claim that he “kept 100 percent of the club’s real estate assets“.


One Response to “Fit and Proper Person Tests – news of graduates”

  1. […] Fit and Proper Person Tests – news of graduates « Football Management […]

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