x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Portsmouth 'may have to sell players'

Delays in the takeover of Portsmouth by Sulaiman Al Fahim has forced the club to sell players to avoid slipping further into financial difficulties.

The Portsmouth executive chairman Peter Storrie fears the Premier League club may have to sell more stars as Sulaiman Al Fahim's proposed takeover drags on. Al Fahim looked set to complete his buy-out of Pompey owner Alexandre Gaydamak after passing the Premier League's 'fit and proper person' test. But the deal has still not been completed and Portsmouth were forced to sell England striker Peter Crouch to Tottenham last week to avoid slipping further into financial difficulties.

Storrie has warned supporters that Crouch will not be the last high-profile player to leave Fratton Park if Al Fahim's takeover goes on much longer. "Until this takeover happens, neither the old nor the new owner is placing any money into the business," Storrie told fans, according to The Sun. "When, and if, it does, I'm not yet aware of what finance will be available for (new) players. "The business has debts to pay and the banks are not releasing funds, so this leaves the club with no option but to sell to keep going.

"I agree we need new players, a stadium, but we can't do it without finance and we've had none of this for more than nine months." *AFP