Portsmouth hit by transfer embargo

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The Independent Football

Portsmouth have confirmed they have been hit with a transfer embargo from the Premier League for failing to pay money owed to other clubs.

The embargo means Paul Hart will be unable to bring any new players in to Fratton Park until further notice as he seeks to save the troubled club from relegation.

Premier League spokesman Dan Johnson said: "We can confirm that there is an embargo on Portsmouth registering any new players."

The south coast club are confident the embargo will not be in place for long, though.

Portsmouth director of communications Gary Double told Press Association Sport: "This concerns unpaid money to other clubs and it is in the process of being sorted.

"We are confident the situation will be sorted by the end of the week."

The transfers involved are believed to be Lassana Diarra's move from Arsenal in January 2008 and Glen Johnson's signing from Chelsea in August 2007.

Both players have since left the club, Diarra moving to Real Madrid and Johnson to Liverpool.

It is believed the situation could even be resolved as soon as today.

Saudi businessman Ali Al-Faraj bought 90 per cent of Portsmouth from former owner Sulaiman Al-Fahim earlier this month after he failed to raise the cash needed to pay the players' September wages.

Further questions have since been asked about the club's finances after Israeli mogul Levi Kushnir and Hong Kong-based Balram Chainrai emerged as potential investors in the club.

They have been linked with making a £15million loan, which would be secured against Pompey's assets.

Al Fahim's investment group - Al-Fahim Asia Associates Ltd. (AAA) - only completed their takeover of the club in August, but his brief time in charge was beset by financial problems.

The concerns away from the pitch have overshadowed Pompey's poor start to the season. They have won just one of their first 10 league games and prop up the table, although they did hammer Stoke 4-0 in the Carling Cup last night.

The south coast club saw big name players like Johnson, Peter Crouch and Niko Kranjcar leave in the summer transfer window.

Portsmouth are the second Premier League club to be hit with a transfer ban.

Chelsea have been banned by FIFA from making any new signings for the next two transfer windows after the governing body found them guilty of inducing teenager Gael Kakuta to breach his contract with Lens two years ago.

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