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Pay pangs continue for Portsmouth

The senior executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, Nick Cusack, will meet Portsmouth officials on Monday for talks about the state of the club's finances, after Wednesday's disclosure that players' wages had not been paid on time for a third month this season. Portsmouth said that they expected the squad to be paid on Tuesday.
By The Guardian | None, London
UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2010 01:18 AM IST

The senior executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, Nick Cusack, will meet Portsmouth officials on Monday for talks about the state of the club's finances, after Wednesday's disclosure that players' wages had not been paid on time for a third month this season. Portsmouth said that they expected the squad to be paid on Tuesday.

A statement released by the club read: “The club has been assured of receipt of funds by Tuesday and the owner and Board have been working hard on resolving the short term delay.”

Portsmouth's owner, the Saudi Arabian businessman Ali al-Faraj, has never visited the club. It is expected that Cusack will meet with Mark Jacob, Faraj's lawyer, who sits on the board as executive director. Cusack hopes to agree a medium-term strategy to stop Portsmouth's players going unpaid again this season. The PFA does not wish to further destabilise Avram Grant's squad. Portsmouth are bottom of the Premier League.

On Wednesday it emerged that Portsmouth had been served with a winding up petition from HM Revenue & Customs on December 23. That development followed the imposition of a Premier League transfer embargo in mid-October.

The Republic of Ireland defender Steve Finnan, who is one of the club's senior professionals, Wednesday night became the first member of the squad to admit that the uncertainty over Portsmouth's financial future is affecting the players.

“You try and do your job as best you can,” he said. “There is obviously talk, the players obviously talk about what is going on, about getting paid. Everyone is in the same position. The lads have tried their best. But as players we have to get on with our job for the club and hopefully things can resolve themselves.”

If the players' salaries fail to arrive on Tuesday then the squad will have the option of serving a mandatory 14 days notice to terminate their contracts.

For now, there is no suggestion that they are seriously considering this.

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