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Page last updated at 18:48 GMT, Saturday, 2 January 2010

Pompey look to loan after wages delayed for third month

Portsmouth boss Avram Grant
Grant has plenty of problems to deal with as he tries to get his side out of relegation trouble

Portsmouth's players and staff should receive their December wages early next week - if the club's owners can secure a short-term loan.

The wages should have been paid on 31 December but were delayed amid ongoing financial struggles at the club.

Chief executive Peter Storrie told BBC Radio Solent that a short-term loan would resolve the cashflow problem.

"(The owners) were looking to bring a major bank loan in and that's what has slowed the process up," said Storrie.

"My understanding is it is additional loans they are currently in the process of dealing with.

"It is obviously not the best (situation) in the world that you can't pay the players' wages.

"My understanding from them is that there is a short-term loan coming in to pay the wages and the players' wages should be paid on Monday or Tuesday, I believe. That is our understanding."

Pompey have seen Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs apply for a winding-up order against the club in relation to disputed tax contributions.

The club are also operating under a Premier League transfer embargo.

Portsmouth drew 1-1 with Championship side Coventry in the FA Cup - a competition they won in 2008 - on Saturday, in front of a dismal crowd of 11,214 at Fratton Park.

After the game, a large group of supporters chanted 'sack the board", 'where's the money gone?' and "where's the owner of our club?' outside the directors' entrance to the ground.

But, speaking after the match, manager Avram Grant refused to criticise supporters for their reaction to the club's dilemma.

"I'm very impressed with the supporters. They were behind us for the whole game and it's not an easy time for us generally or in this game," said Grant.

"I understand (why they are frustrated) but you must understand that no-one at the club is happy with the situation.

"My job and the players' job is to do things on the pitch. The situation is not easy but we can do our best for the team on the pitch and that's what I will do."

Grant did, however, express frustration at having to answer questions about off-field concerns at a time when the team are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, with 14 points from 20 games.

"To be honest, I feel as if I'm not answering as a football manager. Eighty per cent of the questions I have been asked since I came here haven't been about the football," he said.

"I like to talk about things on the football side, but what can I do? This is the situation and if I have to answer these questions, I will answer these questions.

"But there are enough problems on the pitch we need to take care of."

The club's transfer ban relates to outstanding debts that Pompey owe to Arsenal and Chelsea for the signings of Lassana Diarra and Glen Johnson, who now play for Real Madrid and Liverpool respectively.

And French club Lens have called for Portsmouth to be "shut down" over alleged unpaid debts owed to them for striker Aruna Dindane and defender Nadir Belhaj.

It worries us and it is not nice for the fans, it is just not fair on them

Portsmouth defender Steve Finnan

Payment to Portsmouth's players and staff was also late in September and November.

Despite mounting problems, Grant earlier insisted he should be able to strengthen his squad in the January transfer window.

"I hope to have some funds in January. Even if it's a difficult situation, the team can stay up," he said.

"One month ago we were seven points off safety, now we are four, but we need to do something."

Defender Steve Finnan admitted the continuing turmoil had affected the club's players.

"The players obviously talk about what is going on, about getting paid, but as players we have to get on with our job for the club," said Finnan.

"Hopefully things can resolve themselves, but I think no-one really seems to know what is going on.

"It worries us and it is not nice for the fans, it is just not fair on them. For the players it is the same - we want to play for the club."


Meanwhile, Grant faces further on-field problems with four of his players set to head to the African Cup of Nations in Angola in January.

Portsmouth will lose Ivory Coast striker Dindane, Algerian defender Belhadj and Nigerian striker and midfielder Kanu and John Utaka for the African Cup of Nations, which starts on 10 January.

And rumours persist that England keeper David James may be sold in the transfer window to help keep the club afloat.

But Grant insisted: "All the players in the team need to stay and I think the board know that.

"From the football side we need the players to stay and we need to make the team stronger. I know what the team needs to stay in the league and I'm sure we can do that."

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see also
New wage delay for Palace players
02 Jan 10 |  Crystal Palace
Portsmouth 1-1 Coventry
02 Jan 10 |  FA Cup
Pompey 'shock' at wind-up request
30 Dec 09 |  Business
Portsmouth 1-4 Arsenal
30 Dec 09 |  Premier League
Football boss to face tax lawsuit
23 Dec 09 |  England
Pompey chimes failing
18 Dec 09 |  Football
Pompey loan solves wages crisis
04 Dec 09 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth name Grant as new boss
26 Nov 09 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth part company with Hart
24 Nov 09 |  Portsmouth
Al Fahim completes Pompey buy-out
26 Aug 09 |  Portsmouth
Pompey 'just avoided going under'
02 Sep 09 |  Portsmouth
Pompey pay for chasing the dream
11 Feb 09 |  Portsmouth

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