Storrie: Portsmouth may have to sell more players

LONDON - Portsmouth may have to sell more players to keep the cash-strapped Premier League club afloat, chief executive Peter Storrie said on Wednesday.

"If the way to keep this club alive is to sell a couple of players again, we will have to do that - but it will be an owner's decision," he told the BBC.

"If you do not sell, then you could well be going into administration."

The BBC said the club, 90 percent owned by Saudi businessman Ali al Faraj, had yet to pay players their December wages, despite saying last week they hoped to do so by Wednesday. Non-playing staff have been paid.

Portsmouth, bottom of the league and in dispute with the government's Revenue and Customs department over unpaid taxes, are banned from signing players because of their financial woes and have twice previously failed to pay wages on time.

"The new owners have come in almost overnight and to be fair they have put a lot of money in the club," said Storrie.

"They thought they were in a strong position to replace bank finance and bring in a major new investor that was going to come in and be involved.

"But those two things have not happened and although they are working on doing that, time is catching up with them in terms of the debts and the money that is needed to run a Premier League football side."

Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) chief executive Gordon Taylor said he had been assured the wages would be paid by the end of the week.

"This is a matter that is very serious not just for Portsmouth and its supporters and the players but for the Premier League as well," he told the BBC.

"There have been a number of discussions to try and make sure there is a short-term solution and I am confident that has been now resolved, although obviously I couldn't be as confident about the long-term future."

"In brief, they have got themselves into financial problems and have looked to bale out quite a number of players to bring in considerable transfer income but they still owe a considerable amount of money."