Pompey players given wages pledge

Sulaiman Al Fahim
Sulaiman Al Fahim took control of the club in August

Portsmouth’s players have been assured they will be paid the wages they are owed on Friday, says manager Paul Hart.

Some players were not paid earlier in the week because of “a delay in the transfer of funds” following Sulaiman al Fahim’s recent takeover.

“I understand the funds have been received and the players will be paid tomorrow (Friday),” Hart said.

“It’s one of those glitches that have appeared because of the slowness of the takeover and refunding package.”

Al Fahim took control of Portsmouth in August but there have been constant doubts about the financial stability of the club.

“We had a meeting with the players this morning and assured them this would be sorted out,” Hart added.

606: DEBATE

“They turned it into a little bit of fun and have been terrific.”

The club, who are bottom of the Premier League, sold several of their highest earners in the last transfer window, including England internationals Glen Johnson and Peter Crouch.

Hart has had to constantly answer questions about the financial stability of the club since taking over as manager in February.

He admitted: “A fire starts in the corner, you put that out, then you have to put another one out. We will keep putting the fires out and turn it around.

“This group of players are pretty tight and their reaction to this problem was terrific. I don’t think we will be put in this position again.

“I can have a screaming fit or get on with it. I choose to get on with it.”

Defender Hermann Hreidarsson, who is the players’ union representative at the club, said he was not unduly concerned about what was going on.

“We didn’t get paid but someone came down from the payment department and reassured us we will get paid tomorrow (Friday), so everyone’s a winner,” he told BBC Sport.

We were kept informed and want this to be the end of the matter
Hermann Hreidarsson
Pompey defender

“If they were to say you’re not getting paid this month it would be a concern, but they didn’t. We were kept updated and want this to be the end of the matter for everyone concerned.”

Earlier on Thursday, the club released a statement admitting that the players and “executive board” had not been paid on Wednesday.

“The executive board will continue to help the new owner in his efforts to refinance which has come about as a direct consequence of the banks’ requirements to retain all television receipts and profits generated during the transfer windows,” the statement continued.

Al Fahim recently told the club’s supporters he will inject £50m into the club within the next month.

It is likely the funds will largely be used to clear a reported £40m debt and Al Fahim also insisted his finance plan was guaranteed by international institutions and is backed by firm commitments.

Portsmouth lost their seventh straight Premier League match on Saturday when they were defeated 1-0 by Everton.

The only side to ever lose their first seven and avoided being relegated was Liverpool exactly 100 years ago.

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