Fifa bemused by Portsmouth financial woe

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The Independent Football

FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke claims the Portsmouth financial crisis stands as a warning to the rest of football.

Pompey are expected to go into administration tomorrow to avoid a winding up order on Monday - and the accompanying nine-point deduction will mean certain relegation.

Valcke said: "It is the richest league in the world so this is strange. If you talked about another league I would say fair enough, but the richest league in the world - what's the reason?

"It's because the club was badly managed, they ran it to have a chance of winning titles by buying too expensive players and just getting more in debt every day."

The Portsmouth situation has also been cited by UEFA as a reason for the game to back their proposals clubs should only be able to spend what they earn.

According to a new UEFA report, Premier League clubs' debts are more than the rest of Europe put together - but the English top flight also accounts for almost half of clubs' assets across the continent.

The figures show the total debt of the Premier League clubs as being £3.4billion, 56% of the total across Europe. Premier League clubs' assets are £3.8billion, accounting for a 48% share of the assets among all European clubs.

What is worrying for English clubs however is the total value of the debt is so close to the value of the assets.

In Spain, which has the next highest debt of £858million, the assets are worth £2.5billion, three times the value of the debts.

In Italy, the debt is £442million and the assets worth £1.3billion.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie has admitted he has already begun talks with an administrator ahead of tomorrow's deadline.

Portsmouth owner Balram Chainrai has conceded a buyer for the club is unlikely to come forward before then - and there were no developments yesterday in the talks with four different interested groups.

Storrie has been in talks with the administrator about staying on at the club and the man who is one of the highest-paid chief executives in the Premier League insists he is willing to take a pay-cut.

Storrie, who has a salary of at least £1.2million, told the Portsmouth News: "There will be cuts at all levels. That's something for the administrator to do to make sure the club keeps going. I will be taking a big cut as well.

"I've seen salary figures of £1.4million bandied around for me, but my basic salary is less than half of what has been reported.

"The rest of it has been a bonus given by [former owner] Sacha Gaydamak every year. That's in recognition of me keeping the club going for him by selling players.

"But I am prepared to cut my basic quite substantially."

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