Things go­ing from bad to worse to worst for Portsmouth

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODHANGOUTS -

PORTSMOUTH'S cri­sis plumbed new depths yes­ter­day, with the po­si­tions of man­ager Avram Grant and chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Stor­rie in sig­nif­i­cant doubt af­ter the club opened ne­go­ti­a­tions to sell Younes Kaboul and As­mir Be­govic to Tot­ten­ham without their knowl­edge.

Stor­rie ad­mit­ted that his po­si­tion has ‘‘in many ways’’ be­come un­ten­able. ‘‘It makes you won­der what one is do­ing there at the mo­ment,’’ he said. ‘‘Clearly they had to sell a player to al­low us to have the fi­nances to pay wages, pay some cred­i­tors and keep this great club alive.

“I didn’t know any­thing about it un­til I came into the of­fice. Surely, let the ex­perts get in­volved in get­ting the right price if some­one has to go.’’

It was also dis­closed that Grosvenor Bas­ingstoke Prop­er­ties Ltd has joined the wind­ing-up pe­ti­tion that was lodged against Portsmouth last month by Her Majesty’s Rev­enue and Cus­toms (HMRC).

On yet an­other chaotic day at Frat­ton Park, the club’s web­site was even taken off­line for about four hours be­fore Portsmouth set­tled an out­stand­ing bill with their ser­vice provider.

Non-play­ing staff were also in­formed that they might not be paid on time to­day.

Grant missed two press con­fer­ences last week af­ter it emerged that Mike Wil­liamson was likely to join New­cas­tle and, hav­ing re­peat­edly said that he needed to add, rather than lose play­ers, is now fac­ing the prospect of Kaboul re­turn­ing to Tot­ten­ham af­ter just two years, along with Be­govic.

Portsmouth need to raise funds and they may have to sell play­ers to meet Jan­uary’s wage-bill, due to­day.

It would be the fourth time in five months that wages had not been paid on time.

Stor­rie has be­come in­creas­ingly side­lined from the day-to-day op­er­a­tions at Frat­ton Park and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Mark Ja­cob and Danny Azougy, an Is­raeli lawyer, are largely now run­ning the club on be­half of new owner Ali al-Faraj.

With Tot­ten­ham en­ti­tled to a sell-on clause of around £2 mil­lion for Kaboul, any deal is likely to be worth around £6m to Portsmouth.

The fu­ture of David James also re­mains un­re­solved, but Stoke City hope to fi­nalise a loan deal for the Eng­land goal­keeper un­til the end of the sea­son.

Al­though Portsmouth have fur­ther in­stal­ments on past player trans­fers due by next Tues­day, the Premier League will al­low them to make loan sign­ings or free trans­fers be­fore the clo­sure of the Jan­uary win­dow at 5pm on Mon­day.

While key play­ers are likely to leave, the club are still try­ing to bring in oth­ers on loan, in­clud­ing Tot­ten­ham’s Jamie O’Hara and Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, who ar­rived from Spar­tak Moscow on Thurs­day.

Portsmouth are around £60 mil­lion in debt and are due to ap­pear be­fore the High Court next month to face a wind­ing-up pe­ti­tion that was is­sued by HMRC over al­leged un­paid taxes.

The club will dis­pute HMRC’s claim as well as that of Grosvenor Bas­ingstoke Prop­er­ties Ltd – The Tele­graph

ON THE ROCKS: Avram Grant pon­ders the fu­ture.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.