Football

Storrie seeks to allay Pompey fears

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Portsmouth remain confident their off-field financial issues will be resolved with chief executive Peter Storrie insisting it will soon be business as usual again at Fratton Park.

The club head into 2010 rooted to the bottom of the Barclays Premier League following the 4-1 home defeat by title-chasers Arsenal on Wednesday night.

Storrie used Wednesday night's programme notes to try to allay fears Pompey were set for imminent liquidation, saying: "Off the field, the financial issues of the club have been prominent in the media once again. The majority of the reports are ill-informed, but such is the confidential nature of finance that we are not at liberty to put the record straight all of the time."

Earlier in the day, Pompey had issued a statement to deny the club had been formally served with a winding-up petition by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs in relation to disputed VAT, PAYE and National Insurance contributions of a reported £3.5million.

A High Court date has been set for early next year, but Portsmouth - who continue to operate under a transfer embargo imposed by the Premier League over unpaid transfer debts - are expecting to have the matter resolved before then and the threat of possible administration lifted, while it is hoped players' outstanding wages will also be paid off later on Thursday.

Nevertheless, the Fratton Park faithful are becoming increasingly frustrated at the dire financial plight of their club, which in May 2008 were celebrating a famous FA Cup win at Wembley under former boss Harry Redknapp.

Chants of "Where's all our money gone?", "Sack the board" and "You're not fit to run a club" rang out around the ground during Wednesday night's match, as fans sent a clear message to Saudi Arabian owner Ali Al Faraj.

However, Storrie - himself charged with tax evasion by HMRC, accused of concealing a signing-on fee for Amdy Faye by paying it via the midfielder's agent William McKay - added: "It has been a very difficult year.

"But one thing you must believe is that Ali Al Faraj and his associates are doing their very best to refinance the club so we can once again operate the business as we all want to."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Arsenal
Portsmouth
Football
Premier League
Amdy Faye
FA Cup
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