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Serie A season preview: AS Roma

AS Roma 7 hours ago
Read
Feb 18, 2010

Storrie: Agents have taken a financial hit to help Pompey

Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie has informed Soccernet that players' agents and former owners of the club have agreed to defer payments owed to them, and insisted he has put measures in place that will help save the club from extinction.

•  Portsmouth ask for permission to sell players

Storrie does not believe the club will fold as he continues his fire-fighting, and has revealed the behind the scenes deals he believes can save the club, in addition to the request to the Premier League to allow them to sell players outside of the transfer window.

He is in the process of spearheading the process with lawyers to ensure that new owners have the funds in place to save the club, while he has negotiated a package of deals with agents and former owners who are among the clubs biggest creditors.

Although agents are often portrayed in the media as greedy, two of the biggest in the world have deferred their huge commissions until the next sale of the club. Owners past and present have also deferred their payments until the club changes hands for the fifth time this season.

'Super-agent' Pini Zahavi, and Jonathan Barnet's Stellar Group are owned almost £3 million for a series of transfers over recent years, while former owner Sacha Gaydamak is owed £28 million and current owner Balram Chanari is owned £17 million in loans.

Storrie told Soccernet: "I know agents have a bad name, but they are not all bad, and no where near as bad as they are sometimes portrayed.

"Pini Zahavi and the Stellar Group are helping us, and so helping to save Portsmouth, all credit to them. There are other agents involved and they have agreed that they will not claim their fees until the club is sold."

And when asked if Pompey will be able to fulfil their fixtures this season, Storrie said: "I hope so, I believe so. We are working non stop to ensure that we do. But I am not the owner, I am an employee and the future of the club depends on the current owner and more so with the new owner we are trying to bring in.

"What has happened at this club is that the banks have taken back all their money and it has not been replaced. We had two sets of owners who promised the world and delivered very little.

"Now we have people interested and we are going through the process of their funding. We went through that before, let's hope this time we get the right people in to fund this club."

Storrie believes the extent of Pompey's debts are misleading. He explained: "Most clubs would be insolvent if you used the criteria of debt. It's a question of who is underwriting the debt, and whether that debt is turned into equity in the club. This club needs funding, and urgently to ensure it survives in the long term."

Whether that happens or not now rests with the potential takeover offers on the table, which means picking up the club for nothing and taking on the debt with a commitment to fund it in the future.

Pompey's date with destiny is March 1 when they face Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs again in court over the winding-up order, but the club needs to be in the hands of new owners to survive.

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