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English Premiership

Pompey late with wages again

PORTSMOUTH, December 4 – English Premier League strugglers Portsmouth announced on Thursday their players had not received wages for the second time this season.
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The south coast club, who are bottom of the table, issued a statement confirming that not all their squad had received their November salaries on time.

A similar situation took place two months ago when players were paid their September wages late.

"Portsmouth FC can confirm that the majority of the first team squad have not yet received their November salaries," the statement said.

"A proportion of their wages will be paid tomorrow (Friday) with the club’s new owners working towards paying the remainder over the next few days."

Portsmouth, who are bottom of the Premier League, attributed the September payment delay to problems arising from the takeover of the club by former owner Sulaiman Al-Fahim.

However, there were hopes at Fratton Park that such difficulties were a thing of the past after Al Fahim was brought out in turn by Saudi Arabian businessman Ali Al-Faraj.

But worries about Portsmouth’s financial stability are bound to resurface following this latest payment problem and Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of England’s Professional Footballers Association (PFA), voiced his concerns to Sky Sports.

"You can understand much better problems in the Football League and lower down," Taylor said.

"But if that is happening in the Premier League I’m sure it is not good for the image of the game and if it is the case it is not going to be highly thought of at the headquarters of the Premier League either.

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"There can’t be any good reason in the Premier League with the money they enjoy from television income alone, never mind sponsorship," he added.

"That is what life is about in football, paying wages of the players.

"I thought this had been solved with the change of ownership at the club a few weeks ago. We had this earlier in the season."

Portsmouth have managed just seven points from 14 league games and are three adrift at the foot of the table.

Former manager Paul Hart was sacked last week and replaced by Avram Grant.

Portsmouth have also been subjected to a transfer ban because of concerns regarding unpaid fees to other clubs and chief executive Peter Storrie was last month charged with tax evasion.

Beaten 4-1 in the league by champions Manchester United last weekend and since knocked out of the League Cup by Aston Villa, Pompey’s quest for top-flight survival continues at home to Burnley on Saturday.

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