Portsmouth miss player payment pledge

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The Independent Online

Crisis club Portsmouth have not paid their players today but hope to do so tomorrow, the club have told the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA).

Club officials stated yesterday that the players' wages would be paid today but a further delay has now arisen.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said the club were hopeful of paying the players tomorrow.

Taylor told Press Association Sport: "We were expecting the players to be paid today but that has not happened. We have been told by the club that they are hopeful of paying them tomorrow."

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.

It is the third time this season the club have missed a payment date.

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."

Meanwhile, Daniel Azougy, the lawyer taken on by Portsmouth to restructure their debts, has admitted the club is in "a mess".

Former owner Alexandre Gaydamak says he is owed almost £30m and there is also a winding-up petition from HM Revenue and Customs looming.

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 are trying to do."

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