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Page last updated at 21:16 GMT, Thursday, 29 October 2009

Hart not worried by transfer ban


Pompey will fight transfer ban - Hart

Portsmouth boss Paul Hart is confident the transfer embargo placed on his club will not affect his dealings in the January transfer window.

Pompey have been banned from making new signings until they settle transfer debts owed to other English clubs.

They hope to resolve the situation by the end of the week.

And Hart said: "If the ban is still in place in January then that would be a serious situation but we are in the process of dealing with it."

The ban relates to outstanding debts that Pompey owe to Arsenal and Chelsea for the signings of Lassana Diarra and Glen Johnson respectively.

Diarra, 24, joined Pompey from Arsenal for an undisclosed fee of around £5m in January 2008 and moved on to Real Madrid for £20m 12 months later.

Pompey signed Johnson, 25, from Chelsea for £4m in August 2007 and sold him to Liverpool last summer for a fee reported to be £17.5m.

Hart, whose side are bottom of the league, was only made aware of the embargo when the Premier League blocked his attempt to sign midfielder Eugen Bopp on Monday.

Portsmouth spokesman Gary Double said the problem "should be resolved quickly" but the ban has raised fresh questions about the club's finances.

"This is in the process of being sorted and we are confident the situation will be sorted by the end of the week," Double said on Wednesday.

Saudi businessman Ali Al Faraj took over at Portsmouth three weeks ago, buying a 90% stake from previous owner Sulaiman Al Fahim.

Last week, Al Faraj was quoted in the Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat as saying he was "no billionaire", knew nothing about sport and wanted to sell the club quickly.


Israeli mogul Levi Kushnir and Hong Kong-based Balram Chainrai have subsequently emerged as potential investors in the club and have attended Pompey's last two matches, Tuesday's 4-0 Carling Cup win over Stoke and Saturday's 0-0 league draw at Hull.

Another short transfer ban was imposed on the club at the end of August because of debts they owed, BBC Sport understands.

With seven players unavailable for the Stoke game, Hart was eager to sign Bopp, who he had managed at Nottingham Forest.

The 26-year-old, who was a free agent after being released by Crewe in the summer, had been training with Portsmouth for the last few weeks.

However, the Premier League refused to register the player because of Portsmouth's debts.

The transfer ban is the latest in a long line of off-the-field problems for manager Hart.

There was a delay in the players' wages being paid in September, while the club was on the brink of administration in August.

"A club needs to know where it is going and have a long-term plan," stated Hart ahead of Wednesday's 4-0 Carling Cup win over Stoke.

"I wouldn't like to go any further with that because I haven't had these conversations with the new owners. I would anticipate this would be in the next month."

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see also
Portsmouth 4-0 Stoke
27 Oct 09 |  League Cup
Hull 0-0 Portsmouth
24 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Saudi completes Pompey takeover
06 Oct 09 |  Portsmouth
Hart gives players salary pledge
03 Oct 09 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth owner 'to inject 50m'
25 Sep 09 |  Portsmouth
Al Fahim completes Pompey buy-out
26 Aug 09 |  Portsmouth

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