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Page last updated at 15:59 GMT, Friday, 4 December 2009

Portsmouth loan settles players' wages crisis


Portsmouth have secured a loan which means they can finally pay their players' wages for November.

The players had failed to be paid as scheduled for the second time this season but all of the salaries were paid on Friday, BBC Sport understands.

The club met a delegation of players and officials from the Professional Footballers' Association.

Portsmouth, who are bottom of the Premier League, also paid their players late in September.

That followed Sulaiman Al Fahim's takeover from Alexandre Gaydamak at Fratton Park, when Al Fahim promised to inject £50m into the financially-troubled club within a matter of weeks.

But Portsmouth were sold again in October, to Saudi business tycoon Ali Al Faraj.

Al Faraj acquired a 90% stake in Pompey, leaving Al Fahim as the non-executive chairman with a 10% stake.

Former Chelsea boss Avram Grant took over as Portsmouth manager on 26 November following Paul Hart's departure.

Grant said he remained optimistic about the club avoiding relegation despite the financial problems and the team having just seven points from 14 league games.

"The situation was difficult from day one but even with all the difficulties, and it's a big challenge, we can do it," Grant told BBC Radio 5 live.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said he was concerned at the latest developments at the club.


"This week we've had problems with wages at Crystal Palace, at Watford and we've had lower division clubs who've had trouble paying wages where sometimes that's not entirely unexpected," said Taylor.

"But at Premier League level, that's the last place you would expect there to be trouble in paying wages on time.

"It's not good for the image of the Premiership and you have to wonder about their financial book keeping. I thought things had got sorted but apparently not.

"The players have been promised they will be paid, albeit not exactly on time.

Wage woes won't affect Pompey - Grant

"Throughout all these clubs the players show a great deal of solidarity, they're not going to go running and wanting away from the club and Portsmouth are in a difficult position so they will hold together and hope that things get sorted."

Portsmouth were placed under a transfer embargo in late October until they settle debts owed to other English clubs - although in any event, they would not be able to sign players until the January transfer window opens.

Chief executive Peter Storrie has stated that he expected the embargo to be lifted by the time the window opens on 1 January, while Grant said he is confident he will have money to spend.

Storrie said he was confident stability would soon be restored and that Al Faraj was attempting to refinance the club.

"The refinancing they have been putting together is actually going very well," said Storrie.

"They want a bit of understanding from fans because they have had a lot of debt to deal with and they have put a lot of money in.

"It is a difficult market in the financial world at the moment. They took the club over with little or no due diligence because of the situation with Sulaiman.

"The new refinancing is very close now. They have put a considerable amount of money in."

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see also
Grant confident of transfer funds
03 Dec 09 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth name Grant as new boss
26 Nov 09 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth part company with Hart
24 Nov 09 |  Portsmouth
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
Pompey 'just avoided going under'
02 Sep 09 |  Portsmouth
Al Fahim completes Pompey buy-out
26 Aug 09 |  Portsmouth

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