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5 links between UK football clubs and the UAE

5 links between UK football clubs and the UAE

A member of the ruling family in the UAE has denied buying a stake in an English premier league club. But the ties between the UAE and football clubs in the UK seem to be building.

June 24, 2009 1:51 by

According to a report in WAM, the UAE’s official news agency, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saqr Al Qassimi, a member of Ras al-Khamah’s ruling family, has denied buying a majority stake in an English Premier League soccer club.

WAM had reported on Sunday that the Sheikh had bought 60 percent of an unspecified Premier League club, adding that more details about the deal would be announced at a press conference soon.

“Sheikh Ahmed … denied the report carried by the media about him closing a deal to buy 60 percent of an English club,” WAM said.

But this is not the first time that Middle Eastern money has been linked to football clubs abroad.

1. Last month, Portsmouth football club announced it had accepted an offer from Dubai-based businessman, Sulaiman Al-Fahim to take over the club.

“Executive chairman Peter Storrie concluded the deal with Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim in Rome on Tuesday (May 26) night. A period of formal legal and financial due diligence will commence next week so that the transaction can be completed as soon as possible,” a statement from the club said.

The  UK-based Guardian quoted Al Fahim as saying “I’m excited about the club and I’ve signed the memorandum. I was involved in the Manchester City purchase but this one is now mine.”

According to the paper, Portsmouth is currently facing debts of around $107 million.

2. In September last year, Al Fahim facilitated the high profile purchase of premier league club Manchester City by the Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment for $384.4 million.

“Our goal is very simple – to make Manchester City the biggest club in the Premier League,” he said at the time. He also said that they would “solve all the club problems,” clear pending payments and buy “some of the best football players in the world”.

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