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A SAF(e) bet?

As I have spent the majority of my life living in Abu Dhabi I thought it would be interesting to give an insight into what I know about our new owner - Dr SAF, as well as the general attitude of the way in which people of the country go about business dealings.

As I am sure is now common knowledge amongst Pompey fans Dr SAF is head of the Hydra Group, a business group that invests in real estate and alike throughout the country. Despite previous assumptions Dr SAF isn't part of the Arab royal family and as such is a self made man.

He is a good example of someone who has both helped along and taken advantage of the booming market in the Middle East, which, is turning into one of the most successful in recent memory.

From the Emirati's that I have come across throughout my 20 year stay in the country the locals do not like to be made to look as though they are being financially taken advantage of and dictated to. It is quite possible that this is why the Kalinic deal hit a snag with the players club wanting all the money up front, perhaps themselves assuming that the chairman's pockets are bottomless.

Nevertheless as I am sure you are all aware the Arab business men are more than capable of making the impossible, possible - I have myself witnessed the country emerge from a cloud of dust and desert into one with two seven star hotels, as well as the tallest building in the world due to be finished soon enough. If Dr SAF can emulate the countries advances with Portsmouth then I would be a very happy man.

In my opinion Sacha is ravaging the club; squeezing every last penny he can out of it for better or for worse, counting down to the day that he waves goodbye to the south coast for good, perhaps to sit on a newly bought island courtesy of Mr Storrie.

In short I think that a little faith in the good doctor may be on the cards as far as I am concerned, perhaps he is surveying the situation and making major changes come January. Because, quite basically, he must be aware that we are heading for the Championship if we play out the season in the same way the summer dealings have gone, and if that is the case then why would he not have bought out Mike Ashley and come up with Newcastle, rather than down with Pompey?

As far as my attitude goes to the whole affair I will be trusting SAF and his dealings, and waiting for the business mogul to come good on his word. Perhaps I am over optimistic but from what I have seen from Abu Dhabi and all it has accomplished nothing is impossible with an astute Arab business man at the helm.

Written by portsmouthcityfc.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday August 3 2009

Time: 9:56PM

Your Comments

Fair points City and a good insight too .. but I can't help thinking 'Pride before a fall' with regard to the Kalinic .. Are we gonna see good players lost because of the way Arabs conduct their business ?
doom and gloom all of it, the spine of our team is just fine all that we need is a litle bit pace uprfont, and 1 or 2 centre mids
City, great article lets hope your insight proves to be true.
L L Blue
Call me old fashioned PJoe, but surely the spine is the striker, Centre Mid, Centre back and keeper?
Excellent, intelligent article, PCFC, and one that's calmed me down a bit. I just hope that, come January, the situation is recoverable and that we are not the relegation certainties of 'bottom club at Christmas'.
Yes, a very good article, and may I say much needed at this present time to give a little hope. As you say, he's obviously an astute business man, and wouldn't have gone into this venture without a plan. The sooner he takes overall charge the better for PFC .
i agree cornypomp
Dr. SaF seems to take things with the pace needed. He does not seem to rush anything, and maybe we are in for great things in the coming months and we just do not know just yet. Great article, well written.
Pompey Malta
A good read pcfc - congrats. Like everyone here, hope you're right, but to rely on drastic changes in January to keep us up may be folly. As it now stands, we'll be too far behind the 8 ball by then. SAF simply must push the deal through in the next week or so and get some money flowing, or he might just as well have bought NUFC.
Great article, let's hope it all comes to fruition and happens before the club slip into the Championship.
Yes a very good article, well balanced, and its true that we do need to stay calm and optimistic, and hope that you are right.
twice last night i typed my thoughts and twice nodded of and deleted them accidently..A great read this City, however i do not fully share your considerations. 1. NUFC would have cost money., a lot of money, and i am not sure ALF has any. 2. Abu Dhabi was not built by ALF personally, and is based on oil Billions( like Citeh) so we cant expect that kind od development.3. According to the notorious webb page that is devoted to ALF's negatives, hi s whole buisness empire in trouble, he was sacked at MCFC, he was sacked form Hydra, he was sacked from the Hydra TV show, and he seems to have spent the Hydra luxury flat investment money's on other things...sso it seems from the site. The Sun is constantly slagging him off in their Pompeygate articles...and lets be honest...if he had the cash..he would have paid Sasha his paltry price( in comparison to NUFC price) and got on with the job....I fear the worst, but I think with a couple odf decent signings PH will save us for another season until administration kicks in and we start next season 10points down...This not a prediction
plymouth graham
dont know what to say re-administration for the 10/11 season plymouth graham, but i wouldnt be surprised if our 10% share holders start to turn up between now and then as they will not have 2 go through the fit and proper test, perhaps al fahim is quite simply a figurehead owner for the time being with the majority of the backing still to come from these mysterious backers, then again maybe well be enjoying s****horpe away next season. PUP
* s ******** horpe
you get the idea
i don't trust him. sorry its not just because I'm a Rabbi either. He has a very strange way on conducting his business. Pompey are suffering and it will get worse.
The Rabbi
Portsmouthcity as someone who up until recently lived in springs Dubai I don't tthink he has quite the gravitas you accord him; but I agree Emirates don't like to be taken as a fool, the loss of face is severe
i agree that al fahim is not the end all of arab business men, but he is a self-made success story, and amongst the arab contingent is very forward thinking and westernised. nice to see another previous UAE resident on here as wel
Our club are nothing short of a laughing stock and the low quality rags' whipping boy at the moment, I hope that this takeover goes through very soon and Al Fahim can put a stop to all this nonsense quickly and professionally.
just seen on wikipedia, admittedly not the most reliable source of information but information just the same, that al fahim is/has been setting up a link between the UAE Inter Milan, supposedly something like a soccer school, surely inter have some useful youngsters we could borrow if bridges between SAF and inter have already been built?
Smoke & Mirrors, if Arabs conduct their business like you say PFC, whats going on at Manchester City? I think they walked in and bought Robhinio without blinking.
Sorry, posted this in the wrong place: Is there still a legal reason for the silence? Is what needs to be said, the explanation, likely to make us hate The Doctor in the short term? Does saf want the club to enter administration for a cheaper sale? Is Gaydamak asset stripping the club before selling? Have they 'fallen out' and are working against each other? Who is calling the shots with regard to signings? Who has decided we can only afford Third Division standard and old players? Is there a stand-off for some reason and is gaydamak, 'showing off'? Is there a date for 'the sale' and anything Gaydamak sells before that date, he keeps? Is this 'good business practice' and should we ever have faith in someone who cares so little for our pain? So many questions . . . . . . .
Does Al Fahim have any money? If he does, then why hasn't the takeover gone through and why aren't we signing players? If he hasn't then what's he doing messing with our club in the first place? And if he's lost it since he agreed to buy he club then why hasn't he walked away? It would be a shock to have him walk away but would give us a chance to find another buyer - this limbo situation is killing us!
Someone is squeezing the life out of our beloved club & it will sonn need more than doctor to bring it back to life!!!
A lot of the blame has to come down to Peter Storrie- third highest paid CEO in the premier league, and what looks like the poorest club... disgusting
So Storrie this afternoon says that until the sale is complete there is no money in the Club, so we have to sell more players. That's like Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burns. Some businessmen these blokes are, Gaydamak continues to asset strip while SAF stands by and lets the club turn into a dried up Oasis. Whats happening here is disgusting. After all the angst we have suffered over the last 3 months, we now seem to be further away from the end of the tunnel than ever. I am now very angry at what is happening and I have no faith in our new white knight at all.
Mike, you have summed it up perfectly. But at the end of the day what we have to understand is that this club is just a business to these people. It is their money on the line, not ours. We are just the fans.

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