Al Fahim illness 'will not affect Portsmouth plans'

Crisis club Portsmouth's chaotic week took a fresh twist this morning as it emerged new owner Sulaiman Al Fahim had been admitted to hospital in Dubai.

The 32-year-old was undergoing tests after "severe kidney pains", according to Arabian Business, a publication with which Al Fahim has close links, and is thought to be suffering from kidney stones.

Uncertainty over Al Fahim's health has followed a week where Pompey players were not paid and the club's executive directors were needed to secure funding for wages owed.

In a statement issued by the club Al Fahim was told it was ultimately his responsibility to refinance the club, adding to the doubts over the direction of the club's ownership.

The Premier League are understood to be monitoring the situation and looking to see if Pompey fulfil the financial criteria set out to clubs, while the Professional Footballers' Association will deal with any contractual issues if players are not paid.

According to minutes from a meeting on Friday between Al Fahim and the Pompey Virtual Alliance (PVA) - a group of fans' websites - the club's new owner is willing to work with other investors in Portsmouth. One suggestion has been to work with a consortium that rivalled Al Fahim's original bid.

That news has been greeted positively by fans, who have seen Paul Hart's men lose their first seven Premier League matches of the season.

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