Portsmouth are facing further doubts over their viability following the Premier League's decision to divert their share of television revenue to other clubs.
With the troubled south coast outfit owing £10million in unpaid transfer fees, the league yesterday exercised their right to split Pompey's latest £7million slice of TV cash between five clubs awaiting payments. Chelsea, Tottenham, Udinese, Rennes and Lens are those concerned.
The decision is the latest blow for the Fratton Park club, who have been served with a winding-up petition by HM Revenue and Customs and are also thought to owe former owner Alexandre Gaydamak £28million.
They remain subject to a transfer embargo, have failed to pay players' wages on time on three occasions this season and, on the field, are rooted to the bottom of the Barclays Premier League.
There are fears the club could go into administration and so suffer a nine-point deduction that would make relegation an even more likely scenario.
A Premier League statement read: "The board of the Premier League has convened over the past two days to consider what action to take in relation to Portsmouth Football Club's football creditors and the distribution of broadcast fee payments that under normal circumstances would have been paid to the club this week.
"The board has decided, in accordance with Premier League rules, to pay those undisputed football creditors that were overdue at the time of meeting. This includes both domestic and overseas clubs.
"The board continues to work with the officers of Portsmouth Football Club to ensure that arrangements are in place to settle all club liabilities as and when they become due."
The unsettled accounts are spread across several deals, including the transfer of Glen Johnson from Chelsea in August 2007. The full-back since been sold on to Liverpool for £18million.
Terms are also still to be met over Younes Kaboul's signing from Tottenham and Sulley Muntari, now at Inter Milan, from Udinese.
John Utaka's arrival from Rennes is still disputed as are those of Nadir Belhadj and Aruna Dindane from Lens.
Lens are even reportedly considering recalling Dindane, who is on loan with an option to sign permanently, and selling him to a club who can afford the deal.
Supporters have grown increasingly vocal and frustrated in recent weeks as the club continues to unravel.
Ahmed Al Faraj, brother of owner Ali Al Faraj, today pleaded with fans to be patient as the new regime attempt to turn the club around.
Al Faraj took over the club in October after the short-lived reign of Sulaiman Al Fahim, who in turn bought out Gaydamak.
Ahmed Al Faraj, who is helping his brother run the club, told Portsmouth's The News: "We need more patience from the football fans and the people to give us a chance.
"It is not right to be criticised for two months, that is not fair. We need six months or a year, after that they have the right. It's very hard but we are confident.
"Be patient with us, give us your support. We don't have anything to hide."Reuse content