Portsmouth pay players for December

LONDON - Portsmouth's players have finally received their salaries for December, the Premier League club's chief executive Peter Storrie said on Thursday.

Storrie, however, denied the club would have to resort to a "firesale" of players because of their financial problems.

"The owners are trying everything they can and have found (this money) in the last couple of days," he told Sky Sports News.

"One or two people think that because of the press coverage there is some sort of firesale going on and that is not the case.

"If we have to sell, we will sell players for their market price and not what people think is a knockdown price.

"The reality is that the new owners have put a lot of money into the club so far to look after the revenue and the staff and players' salaries over the last few months.

"Effectively the club have had to pay back some 35 million pounds or so in bank loans and we have been unable to replace that at the moment because of the economic climate - and that has been one of the major issues the new owners have faced."

The club, 90 percent owned by Saudi businessman Ali al Faraj, are bottom of the Premier League and in dispute with the government's Revenue and Customs department over unpaid taxes.

Storrie said only "one or two" players could leave the club and that any departure would be at Al Faraj's discretion.

"That's something the owner of the club will decide ... if we have to sell one or two players then he will make that decision," said Storrie.

Storrie is also hoping the transfer embargo placed on the club by the Premier League in October will be lifted before the end of the January transfer window.

The ban means manager Avram Grant is currently unable to sign any new players as he battles to save the club from relegation.

Storrie added: "We're working hard on that one (the embargo) with the Premier League and I have to say they've been as helpful as they possibly can."