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By ESPN Staff

Birch clarifies payments

Portsmouth administrator Trevor Birch has moved to clarify comments he made about the club's parachute payments from the Premier League being paid to former owner Sacha Gaydamak.

Birch had stated Gaydamak was assigned £2.2 million of parachute payments to satisfy part of his debt, with him set to receive the next four instalments. But he has confirmed the Premier League "is not a part of any agreement to pay money to a third party''.

In a statement, Birch, PKF partner and joint administrator, said: "Yesterday, I made a statement about the finances of Portsmouth FC and referred to the possibility of parachute payments from the Premier League being paid to a previous owner of the club.

"I want to make it absolutely clear that the Premier League is not a part of any agreement to pay money to a third party. As I stated yesterday, the issue is that a mechanism was put in place by the old company, which had the effect of giving an assignment of £2.2 million of parachute payments to a previous owner.

"At this moment in time the Premier League is not withholding any funds due to Portsmouth, and I regret any misunderstanding this may have caused. In the meantime, we are continuing to negotiate with the Football League and the PFA in order to unlock additional funds for the club.''

Birch revealed there is "a real possibility'' the club will not be able to complete the Championship season unless somebody invests soon. He further warned it would take "a major investment'' to take Pompey into next season as their financial problems continue to mount.

Pompey were deducted 10 points last month after going into administration for the second time in two years.

Birch was forced to loan top scorer Erik Huseklepp to Birmingham to trim the wage bill and also announced 30 redundancies at the club.

They are currently second from bottom, five points from safety, and face Middlesbrough at Fratton Park on Saturday.

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