Why it’s all going wrong for Pompey
PORTSMOUTH suffered another double blow this week when the Premier League upheld its transfer embargo and David James, the England goalkeeper, closed in on a move to Stoke City.
The Premier League has also now formally diverted a £7 million broadcast payment to clubs who were still owed money by Portsmouth for past player transfers.
Those clubs are understood to be Chelsea, Tottenham, Rennes and Lens.
Portsmouth officials met with the Premier League board on Tuesday in an effort to explain their financial predicament and have the transfer ban lifted, but concerns persist over the club’s ongoing ability to manage total debts of around £60 million.
A statement on Thursday confirmed that the league had implemented powers to divert funds to football creditors.
The continuation of what is an indefinite transfer embargo will come as a major disappointment to manager Avram Grant who has been desperate to add to his squad, even if it is with a series of loan deals or free transfers.
Portsmouth are also facing demands from Revenue and Customs and appealed in the High Court yesterday against the winding-up petition that has been served on them.
They will, however, save around £1 million by getting James off the wage-bill until his contract expires at the end of the season.
Negotiations were ongoing last night, although Stoke are understood to be hopeful that Portsmouth will continue to part-fund his wages of around £50,000-a-week.
A deal is expected to be concluded in time for Stoke’s match against Liverpool today, with the position of current first-choice goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, who has been linked with Bayern Munich, now in doubt.
“It makes it more important that we cover ourselves,” said Stoke manager Tony Pulis.
“If Bayern Munich, Manchester United or Chelsea come in for Thomas, he would want to better himself like everybody else does.
“Sorensen has done brilliantly, so they will both be fighting for that one spot.” – The Telegraph