Portsmouth's players will take to the field against Hull this afternoon wondering what the future holds for the club and themselves after a statement released last night suggested the south-coast outfit are on the brink of liquidation.
The statement, released by Portsmouth's administrators, blamed former owner and creditor Alexandre Gaydamak for "moving the goalposts" as the club attempt to complete a deal with all their creditors to allow them to move out of administration.
Gaydamak is accused of demanding a "significant" sum of money for the deal to proceed.
The statement read: "The process has been extremely complicated and there has been a team of people working night and day to get the deal done. The most difficult aspect has been trying to achieve agreement with Alexandre Gaydamak after the remaining parties have agreed the deal and executed the necessary documents, namely the new owners, the administrators, the Football League and the creditors.
"Unfortunately, despite the new owners fulfilling all the requirements of the Football League and the creditors, and agreeing and signing up to the required terms of the purchase of the club, at the 11th hour the goalposts have been moved by Mr Gaydamak and this has now made the deal impossible to complete.
"Put simply, despite being offered full payment for the secured part of his debt in accordance with the financial plan approved by the Football League, this (Friday) morning Mr Gaydamak has demanded a very significant up-front cash payment in order to allow the deal to proceed by releasing his security.
"All this is in spite of his lawyers going to Paris this morning specifically for the purpose of witnessing his signature to the document agreed yesterday (on Thursday). It is neither in the interests of the club nor its unsecured creditors for such a ransom payment to be made, particularly where the payment is being demanded by one of the authors of the club's current circumstances.
"In addition, and equally importantly, all of the business plans submitted and approved by the Football League would be fundamentally damaged by such a requirement placed on the club by Mr Gaydamak."
The statement added: "It appears likely that the club will now be closed down and liquidated by the administrators as they are unable to support the continued trading of the club."
The Football League have confirmed this afternoon's match at the KC Stadium will go ahead as scheduled, and Portsmouth administrator Andrew Andronikou is hopeful that a resolution to the impasse can be reached, although he admitted that time is of the essence.
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