Pompey call for patience from fans

Portsmouth have asked for patience from the Fratton Park fans as they attempt to stabilise the club’s financial position.

The Premier League’s bottom club paid players their November wages on Friday after a delay attributed to problems arising from Ali Al Faraj’s recent takeover.

A loan was needed to complete the payments for a second time this season but chief executive Peter Storrie believes the new owner will soon bring things under control.

Storrie told Sky Sports News: “The refinancing they have been putting together is actually going very well.

“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.”

Portsmouth last failed to pay their players on time just two months ago, again due to administrative difficulties following a takeover.

Sulaiman Al Fahim, owner of the club at the time, took out a £50million loan to meet the payments and then sold the club soon after. He had been at the Fratton Park helm just six weeks.

The latest problems added to the continuing turbulence at the club after the two takeovers, a poor start to the season, the imposition of a transfer embargo and the sacking of Paul Hart as manager.

A statement last night read: “Portsmouth Football Club can confirm that the entire first-team squad has been paid today in full.

“The club paid an initial 25% this morning into the players’ accounts with the remaining 75% paid through secured funds this afternoon.

“The new owner and his associates inherited large debts and have already invested a substantial amount of money into the business.

“They are continuing to stabilise the club through refinancing which will ensure that foundations are in place to secure the future of the club without any further problems. We urge the fans to remain patient through this process.”

Portsmouth are now hoping the transfer ban placed on them by the Premier League can be lifted before the January window opens.

New manager Avram Grant is likely to want reinforcements for his battle against relegation.

Storrie added: “Avram has got some ideas in terms of players he wants to bring in and the owners are aware of that.

“Obviously this refinancing arm will allow us to bring everything up to date and we hope then this embargo will be lifted, well in time for January.”