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By ESPN Staff

Portsmouth deny club heading for administration

Portsmouth have issued a strongly-worded statement denying rumours they are planning to go into administration.

Speculation over the club's finances has intensified since it was revealed last week that their players had been paid late for a second time this season.

Pompey have also insisted chief executive Peter Storrie is not leaving Fratton Park.

The statement read: "The owner and board of Portsmouth Football Club are disappointed at recent inaccurate media speculation regarding the club's finances and the threat of administration.

"Ali Al Faraj and his associates took over the running of the club and inherited a business that had substantial debts.

"Dealing with the finances has been the priority since Al Faraj came in to pay the players before taking over the club from Sulaiman Al Fahim.

"The club is not going into administration. If that were the case it would have happened at the end of September or early October. This week alone, HM Revenue and Customs were paid £2million and other historical arrears are being dealt with on an ongoing basis.

"The new owner has not had the benefit of TV revenue to aid the club, with the next major instalment due in January. However, he and his associates have already invested substantial funds to keep the club operating and will continue to do so.

"The owner remains committed to the club and has shown that through his investment to date. He will also provide manager Avram Grant with all the tools he needs to ensure the club reaches a position the players' performances deserve - away from the relegation zone.

"Despite media rumours Peter Storrie remains chief executive and has been holding talks on behalf of the club in other parts of the world.

"Much is happening behind the scenes but constant malicious rumours and speculation do not assist with the proposed major long-term funding that is currently being put in place.''

Portsmouth have endured a turbulent year with the ownership of the club changing twice. Al Fahim's protracted takeover took three months to complete and then lasted just six weeks after players' wages for September were not paid on time.

Al Fahim sold 90% of his shares to Al Faraj in October but further administrative difficulties led to a second payment delay for last month. Pompey are also currently the subject of a Premier League transfer embargo.

The problems have been reflected in results on the field with the team bottom of the Premier League after 15 games. Manager Paul Hart paid the price for the club's poor start to the season with the sack last month.

His successor Avram Grant lost his first two matches in charge but then secured a crucial win over Burnley last weekend.

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