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Jan 8, 2010

Mystery player claims Portsmouth "mismanagement"

An unnamed Portsmouth player has broken ranks to lambast the running of the troubled Premier League club, detailing "complete mismanagement across the board" after the playing staff received their December wages late.

• Portsmouth pay players

The Professional Footballers' Association has been heavily critical of Portsmouth after they were late paying their players for the third time this season. Payment was finally made on Thursday, but only after the club missed a self-imposed deadline of Wednesday.

Portsmouth are also under a transfer embargo due to the fact that they still owe outstanding payments on previous signings and their prospects for the second half of the season look bleak given they are currently bottom of the Premier League and four points shy of safety.

With the club seeing fresh investment having already been subject to two takeovers this season, a player, described by the Guardian as a "senior" member of the dressing room, has felt compelled to reveal the scale of the struggles behind the scenes at Fratton Park.

"It's complete mismanagement across the board and whoever's guilty is going to get away with it," the player told the Guardian, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"The perception is that every footballer earns millions of pounds but they're not all making that kind of money. You've also got the reserve-team players and the youth team who haven't been paid, so it crosses the whole spectrum.

"If a player is earning a few hundred pounds a week and he's old enough to have moved out so he's paying rent or a mortgage, then he's going to encounter the usual problems that normal people have. And this has all happened over the Christmas period.

"The lads do mention it. In our players' meeting the other day one player voiced his unhappiness about losing games and then even when you go home you're not getting paid so what is there to be positive about? That's how he felt. It's not easy."

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 was 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."

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