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Page last updated at 11:16 GMT, Friday, 2 October 2009 12:16 UK

Portsmouth owner 'faces surgery'

Sulaiman Al Fahim
Sulaiman Al Fahim took control of the club in August

Portsmouth owner Sulaiman Al Fahim will undergo an operation to remove kidney stones on Friday, says his spokesman.

Ivo Gabara said Al Fahim is suffering from a kidney infection and was rushed to hospital in Dubai on Thursday.

"This will not have any impact on the refinancing or management of Portsmouth," Gabara told BBC Sport.

Al Fahim was urged to find a "permanent financing solution" for Pompey in a strongly-worded statement issued by the club's executive board on Thursday.

The board - Peter Storrie, Tanya Robins and Roberto Avondo - claimed to be in the "final stages" of securing funding to pay the players' wages this week.

Gabara said Al Fahim's advisers were working closely with chief finance officer Robins to ensure that the loan of £50m was "disbursed on schedule over the next three to four weeks".

"In the meantime, the day-to-day running of the club continues under chief executive Peter Storey," he added.


However, the club was unaware on Friday morning that Al Fahim was facing surgery.

Portsmouth's players were due to be paid on Wednesday and the club initially claimed this had not happened because of technical problems.

However, the club later explained that wages were not paid on time because of "a delay in the transfer of funds" after banks demanded TV receipts and profits from the last transfer window, meaning Al Fahim needed to refinance the club.

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

"It is very disappointing to all of us that the players have for the first time had to wait for their contractual remuneration for reasons entirely outside the club's control," read the statement from Pompey's executive board.

"It is through the joint efforts of the executive directors that we are in the final stages of securing funding that will allow the club to meet these contractual obligations.

"It is clear that in order to ensure that the club is able to secure its longer-term future, a more permanent financing solution needs to be found quickly as the executive directors consider it an obligation to the club's loyal employees and fans, who undoubtedly feel equally disappointed.

"In order to achieve this we will continue to work closely with the owner's lawyers and associates in delivering the finance that is needed over the next 10 to 14 days. Ultimately the responsibility to deliver this remains with the owner."

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.

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

There have been constant doubts about the financial stability of the club since Al Fahim's takeover in August.

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see also
Hart gives players salary pledge
03 Oct 09 |  Portsmouth
Storrie to remain at Portsmouth
27 Sep 09 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth owner 'to inject 50m'
25 Sep 09 |  Portsmouth
Pompey 'just avoided going under'
02 Sep 09 |  Portsmouth
Al Fahim completes Pompey buy-out
26 Aug 09 |  Portsmouth
Chimes of uncertainty for Pompey
13 Aug 09 |  Portsmouth

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