Pompey could turn to arbitration

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Portsmouth will start arbitration proceedings against the Premier League unless they lift their 96-day transfer embargo.

The struggling south-coast club also want £2million of TV cash to be returned to them by the Premier League. Pompey have ruled out suing the league, as had been previously reported, but the club have delivered a letter to the Premier League's Gloucester Place headquarters requesting that the embargo be scrapped and outstanding TV cash be paid to them.

Portsmouth have demanded a meeting with the Premier League on Tuesday or they will use their right to involve an independent body to examine both sides of the situation.

"The Premier League are withholding the balance of monies they owe us because they believe that we still owe other football clubs money," said Portsmouth executive director Mark Jacob.

"We have now paid off the three UK clubs. We have agreed with Rennes and Lens to accept certain payments now and then defer a schedule of payments going forward. We are finalising the agreement with Udinese.

"The total amount that we directed the Premier League to discharge and pay these clubs is approximately £5m. So there is a net balance due to the club approaching £2m. We cannot see how they can keep the money and also continue with the embargo.

"We believe the embargo should be lifted immediately and that we should be receiving money from the Premier League.

"We have delivered a letter to the Premier League asking to pay back the money. We have called for a meeting on Tuesday and if this fails or we don't get our money back then we shall exercise the powers of arbitration. Once again we are being treated as the poor relations and the black sheep of the family.

"We feel we have come in and been fully open and frank with them to explain the club's position, where we are and how we'd like to go forward.

"We would like them to use their discretionary powers in a positive fashion rather than negative fashion against the club."

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