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Aug 4, 2009

Pompey must sell to survive

Portsmouth have outlined their financial plight and said it they will need to sell more players if a proposed takeover falls through.

The club said it believed Sulaiman al-Fahim, who is heading up a group of investors from the United Arab Emirates, was still committed to buying Portsmouth and strengthening the team.

However, in a statement on the club website it added: "While it is our intention to add strength to the existing squad we cannot rule out the possibility of selling more players should the takeover not happen."

The statement was issued after Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie was quoted in a leaked letter to a fan as saying it had been tough keeping the south-coast club going.

It said no new finance had been available since French-born owner Alexandre Gaydamak decided to sell nine months ago.

With the proposed takeover still not completed the club has been left in financial limbo and key players, such as striker Peter Crouch and fullback Glen Johnson, have had to be sold.

"During this transitional phase the priority has been to keep the Football Club operating," said the statement on the club's official website.

"The need to meet scheduled loan repayments to banks has meant that the club has had to sell players such as (midfielder) Lassana Diarra and (striker) Jermain Defoe in January and more recently Peter Crouch and Glen Johnson.

Portsmouth lost almost £17m in the 2007/08 financial year despite winning the FA Cup and have had to shelve plans for a new stadium.

"We know only too well that we need to add to the first team squad but at this moment in time there is a limited amount we can do until the takeover is completed," the statement said.

"We can assure everybody that Peter Storrie, the board and everyone at the club is working tirelessly to keep (it) running as smoothly as possible in these difficult circumstances."

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