Portsmouth TV cash paid to other clubs

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LONDON - Portsmouth's seven million pounds share of the latest television revenue payments is to be diverted to clubs they owe money to, the Premier League ruled on Thursday.

The league's board have spent two days considering what action to take over Pompey's creditors and detailed their decision in a statement.

However, there was no mention of lifting the transfer embargo imposed on the club in October.

"The board has convened over the past two days to consider what action to take in relation to Portsmouth Football Club's football creditors and the distribution of broadcast fee payments that under normal circumstances would have been paid to the club this week," the league said.

"The board has decided, in accordance with Premier League rules, to pay those undisputed football creditors that were overdue at the time of meeting. This includes both domestic and overseas clubs.

"The board continues to work with the officers of Portsmouth FC to ensure arrangements are in place to settle all club liabilities as and when they become due," added the statement.

Portsmouth have owed money to several clubs including Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, Italy's Udinese and Stade Rennes and Racing Lens in France.

FINANCIAL WOES

The league's bottom club signed Nadir Belhadj and Aruna Dindane from Lens but the French club are considering recalling the player and selling him to a club that can afford a deal.

Portsmouth's financial woes have been well documented with the club facing a winding-up order from the Government's Revenue and Customs office.

They are also due to go to the High Court to argue the Value Added Tax portion of their tax debt is too high by around 7.5 million pounds.

Portsmouth, who face relegation after seven seasons in the top flight, have paid their players late three times this season, during which they have had three owners.

Last Sunday the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) chief executive Gordon Taylor said the club's plight was giving cause for concern.

Taylor said Portsmouth could suffer the same fate as League One Leeds United and fall through the leagues if the financial situation was not remedied.

Portsmouth's executive director Mark Jacob also said on Sunday he could not guarantee the player wages would be paid on time this month but expected they would be.

He added media reports the club were between 60-100 million pounds in debt were "way off the mark" but would not disclose precise figures.