Pompey confident over finances

BY foxsports • January 12, 2010

Portsmouth remain confident the Premier League will soon lift their transfer embargo and provide £7million windfall in television revenue.

Officials from the south-coast club met with league counterparts on Tuesday to give details of their current position as they challenge a winding-up petition served on them by HM Revenue and Customs before Christmas, and continue to battle debts to other clubs.

The Premier League are scheduled to pay all clubs their latest portion of broadcasting income, around £7million, but were considering directing Portsmouth's share on to creditor clubs if outstanding monies for previous transfer deals were not paid.

However, the governing body will now review Pompey's latest financial position before deciding how to move forward. A Premier League spokesman said: "Portsmouth have provided the Premier League board with new information regarding their outstanding debt to other football clubs.

"The Premier League board will now consider this new information and make a decision in due course."

It is understood the unsettled accounts are spread across several deals, including the transfer of Glen Johnson from Chelsea in August 2007, the full-back having since been sold on to Liverpool for £18million.

Elsewhere, terms still have to be met over Younes Kaboul's move from Tottenham, Sulley Muntari, now at Inter Milan, from Udinese, John Utaka from Rennes as well as Nadir Belhadj and Aruna Dindane from Lens, who are considering recalling Dindane and then selling him on to a club who can afford the deal.

The total outstanding is believed to be around £10million, so even were the Premier League to redistribute the cash, Pompey would still be short. Nevertheless, Portsmouth are confident the problems behind the scenes following two recent changes in ownership will soon be stabilised, as manager Avram Grant looks to guide the club off the foot of the Barclays Premier League table.

Executive director Mark Jacob believes Saudi businessman Ali Al Faraj, whose investment has so far enabled Portsmouth to stay afloat and avoid administration despite paying players' salaries late more than once, can take the club forward.

"There is now more transparency between the club and its creditors and we have been pleasantly surprised that a lot of people who may have been owed money by Portsmouth in the past now understand and appreciate the efforts we have made to pay the debts," Jacob said. "It is in no-one's interest to take matters to court and threatening court proceedings.

"If there is an issue, we want to address it."

Jacob is also confident of a successful challenge to HMRC. The club is due to go to court to argue the VAT portion of their massive tax debt is too high by some £7.5million. Jacob added: "We have inherited a huge tax liability and - since the takeover - substantial sums have been paid to the Revenue. In fact, they have been prioritised as a creditor.

"As for the matters reported, all I can say at this stage - because it is subject to legal proceedings - is the Revenue are being challenged and we will know more in the coming weeks.

"We have every confidence that the matter will be addressed."

share story