Pompey reject talk of administration as debts loom large

Premier League's bottom club also deny claims that chief executive is leaving

Portsmouth yesterday issued a firm denial that they are going into administration and that their chief executive, Peter Storrie, was leaving, but failed to provide any evidence that their owner, Ali al-Faraj, has secured funds to safeguard the club's long-term future.

A January payment of TV revenue from the Premier League of £7m has already been earmarked to service the mandatory repayment of football debts. Unless Faraj or other backers provide imminent funding, the Premier League will pay those debts directly, and as things stand, the £7m will not cover them.

A £9m payment is also due next month to Portsmouth's last-but-one owner, Sacha Gaydamak, and there is no indication Faraj has yet secured the means to pay it. Pompey are already struggling to meet routine financial obligations; the players have been paid late twice this season.

The club's statement said that Faraj – the latest of three owners this year alone – and unnamed "associates" have already "invested substantial funds to keep the club operating and will continue to do so". No details were provided. When Faraj bought the club from Sulaiman al-Fahim in October, he was touted as a man of great wealth but enquiries have yet to unearth evidence to substantiate that.

In the long-term, Portsmouth owe around £32m altogether to Gaydamak, or rather to one of his companies, Devondale. That money is part of total club debts estimated at around £60m.

Neither Faraj nor Fahim have ever owned the valuable land around Fratton Park, which has always been viewed as key to long-term development plans for the stadium but is still owned by a subsidiary of Devondale.

Portsmouth's statement said: "Ali al-Faraj and his associates took over the running of the club and inherited a business that had substantial debts. Dealing with the finances has been the priority since Al-Faraj came in to pay the players before taking over the club from Sulaiman al-Fahim.

"The club is not going into administration. If that were the case it would have happened at the end of September or early October. This week alone, HM Revenue and Customs were paid £2m."

The statement continued: "The owner remains committed to the club and has shown that through his investment to date. He will also provide manager Avram Grant with all the tools he needs to ensure the club reaches a position the players' performances deserve – away from the relegation zone.

"Despite media rumours, Peter Storrie remains chief executive and has been holding talks on behalf of the club in other parts of the world. Much is happening behind the scenes but constant malicious rumours and speculation do not assist with the proposed major long-term funding that is currently being put in place."

Portsmouth are bottom of the Premier League, having recently sacked Paul Hart as manager and replaced him with Grant.

Portsmouth's debt: How it breaks down

Portsmouth are believed still to owe circa £60m, despite paying off some this week. Sacha Gaydamak is owed £32m, football debts total circa £8m, while the HMRC may still be owed, although £2m was paid this week.

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
News
David Ryall in Harry Potter
people
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Wayne Rooney warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane
football
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015