LONDON, January 6 – Crisis-hit Portsmouth took another step into the unknown Tuesday after failing to pay their players for the third time this season.
Despite stating Monday the players would be paid their wages for December, believed to be 1.8 million pounds, Portsmouth officials told the Professional Footballers’ Association a further delay has now arisen.
PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said the club, whose side is propping up the English Premier League, were hopeful of paying the players Wednesday.
Taylor told Press Association Sport: "We were expecting the players to be paid today (Tuesday) but that has not happened. We have been told by the club that they are hopeful of paying them tomorrow (Wednesday)."
The club told the PFA the latest delay was due to paperwork needing to be completed after a short-term loan was negotiated to cover the shortfall.
In a further blow for the club, the Premier League have told Portsmouth they will not be able to re-register Jamie O’Hara as a loan signing unless the transfer embargo is lifted, and there is virtually no chance of that happening during this transfer window.
The Tottenham midfielder’s deal runs out on January 15 but Spurs had indicated they were happy to let him stay at Pompey.
A Premier League spokesman said: "If the registration embargo is still in place Portsmouth will not be able to re-register him."
Daniel Azougy, the lawyer taken on by Portsmouth to restructure their debts, has said the club is in "a mess".
Azougy told the Guardian: "First of all I hope we are going to pay the players’ salaries as promised. But nobody knows how much (the club) is a mess. When people and the fans of Portsmouth know how big they will appreciate what we trying to do."
Former owner Alexandre Gaydamak says he is owed almost 30 million pounds and there is also a winding-up petition from HM Revenue and Customs.