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Jan 7, 2010

Pompey confirm players' wages paid

Portsmouth have confirmed that they have paid their players' wages after Mark Jacob, the executive director on the board representing new owner Ali al-Faraj earlier informedESPN Soccernet the issue would be resolved on Thursday.

• PFA to ask questions
• Gaydamak: I'm not to blame

Pompey, who have failed to pay their staff on time on two previous occasions this season, missed a self-imposed deadline to pay the squad their December wages on Wednesday, but the funds were released and the players paid in full on Thursday.

"We are pleased to say the players have now been paid," a club spokesman revealed in a statement to Press Association Sport. Executive director Jacob had earlier told ESPN Soccernet: "The players are being paid today. The wages are presently being processed."

In an exclusive interview with ESPN Soccernet on Wednesday, PFA senior executive Nick Cusak said that Pompey's inability to pay their players on time is threatening the "integrity" of the Premier League.

Cusack said: "When two teams take the field, it's 11 versus 11 and you would expect all 22 players to have been paid. If one set of 11 has not then that can call into question the commitment of that team and therefore the integrity of the game itself.

"That in turn puts into question the very integrity of the league, and this is something we plan to raise with the Premier League and with Portsmouth's officials when I go down to the club to speak to the players.

"After three months of payments being late, I think the players are entitled to ask the kind of questions everybody in football is asking."

Pompey's financial problems, however, will not end when their players are paid as the Premier League have imposed a transfer embargo on the club.

The player-registration freeze has been imposed until league officials are happy with the club's finances and, although there has been dialogue, Pompey have yet to provide sufficient assurances.

Reports in the UK press claim the whole Portsmouth squad has been put up for sale and Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie confirmed that some players may have to be sold.

Storrie said: "If the way to keep this club alive is to sell a couple of players again, we will have to do that - but it will be an owner's decision. If you do not sell, then you could well be going into administration."

He added: "I've had one or two calls and I think one or two people think there is some sort of fire sale going on. That is not the case. If we have to sell players we'll sell them for their market price and not what people think is a knockdown price.''

ESPN Soccernet has been breaking the story that a series of potential refinancing deals are in the pipeline, including future TV income, season tickets, and even the naming rights of Fratton Park.

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