Portsmouth hit with transfer embargo

LONDON - Portsmouth have been banned from registering any new players until further notice because of unpaid debts to other clubs, the Premier League said on Wednesday.

The league said in a statement the embargo was imposed on October 15.

"Premier League rules allow the Board to act if a club has outstanding transfer fees due to other clubs," the statement said.

Portsmouth played down the issue, however, with a club spokesman saying they were confident the situation would be "sorted by the end of the week".

The news is another setback for the south-coast club who have been in financial turmoil for two years.

Portsmouth, bottom of the league after only one win and a draw in their first 10 games, were taken over earlier this month by Saudi Arabian businessman Ali al Faraj.

He bought 90 percent of the club's shares from Sulaiman al Fahim who took over only in August but struggled to refinance the club's debt.

Last month payments to some of the first team squad were delayed and, despite the sale of many leading players over the last 18 months, the club is still struggling with debt.

On Tuesday Portsmouth had their best result of the season when their depleted side beat a second-string Stoke City team 4-0 to reach the League Cup quarter-finals.