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Drogba turning back the clock

Chelsea 19 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jan 14, 2010

Pompey TV money distributed among creditors

The Premier League are to divert Portsmouth's £7 million share of the latest television revenue payments to several other clubs owned money by the south coast outfit after they failed to cover debts.

The Premier League's board have spent the past two days considering what action to take after reviewing Portsmouth's current position as the club desperately sought fresh financing. But they have failed to convince the league they have the money to cover around £10 million in debt to clubs both in the Premier League and overseas.

A Premier League statement said: ''The Board of the Premier League has convened over the past two days to consider what action to take in relation to Portsmouth Football Club's football creditors and the distribution of broadcast fee payments that under normal circumstances would have been paid to the club this week.

''The Board has decided, in accordance with Premier League rules, to pay those undisputed football creditors that were overdue at the time of meeting. This includes both domestic and overseas clubs.

''The Board continues to work with the officers of Portsmouth Football Club to ensure that arrangements are in place to settle all club liabilities as and when they become due.''

It is understood the unsettled accounts are spread across several deals, including the transfer of Glen Johnson from Chelsea in August 2007, the full-back having since been sold on to Liverpool for £18 million.

Elsewhere, terms still have to be met over Younes Kaboul's move from Tottenham, Sulley Muntari, now at Inter Milan, from Udinese, John Utaka from Rennes as well as Nadir Belhadj and Aruna Dindane from Lens, who are considering recalling Dindane and then selling him on to a club who can afford the deal.

The Premier League's decision is the latest blow for Pompey's owners, who are fighting a winding-up petition served on them by HM Revenue and Customs before Christmas.

The club is due to go to court to argue the VAT portion of their massive tax debt is too high by some £7.5 million. Portsmouth have failed to pay their players on time three times this season, and there are growing fears the club may be forced to go into administration.

With the club rooted to the bottom of the table, the situation at Fratton Park is looking bleak and Ahmed Al Faraj, the brother of Portsmouth owner Ali Al Faraj, has pleaded for patience from supporters as the new regime attempt to turn the club around.

He told Portsmouth's The News: ''We need more patience from the football fans and the people to give us a chance. It is not right to be criticised for two months, that is not fair. We need six months or a year, after that they have the right. It's very hard but we are confident. Be patient with us, give us your support. We don't have anything to hide.''

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