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Jan 6, 2010

Gaydamak: I left no nasty surprises at Pompey

Former Portsmouth owner Alexandre Gaydamak insists he is not to blame for the financial crisis at the club which has led to yet another delay in the players being paid.

The current owners have tried to shift the responsibility on to the previous regime but Gaydamak, who sold the club to Sulaiman al-Fahim in August before he sold it on again to Ali Al Faraj, said he left it in good shape.

Gaydamak claims he is owed £28 million by Pompey and the club is almost the subject of a winding up petition from HM Revenue and Customs.

Gaydamak told fansonline: ''It is my opinion that they [the debts] were fully serviceable and no worse or better than any other club in the context of the Premier League. In fact, the debt ratio at Portsmouth was probably one of the lowest.

''The people who tried to buy the club were very persistent. They tried to buy it in the summer and I decided not to sell to them because I could not be sure who was behind them and I could not be sure of the source of their money.

''These chaps knew what they were getting. They must have realised there is a wage bill and the tax bill to meet every month. There are no surprises.''

Gaydamak also says he has written off a further £20 million.

''I made around £50 million in shareholder and directors loans to the club during my time,'' he added. ''After Sulaiman had completed the due diligence, we sat down with his advisors and it was agreed to sell the club for £1 with me continuing to guarantee the now famous £2.5 million debt to Barclays and leaving loans totalling £28 million of which £9 million is due for repayment this month and the rest in 2012. This was our contractual agreement, but in effect I had written off around £20 million of the loans I made.''

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