Pompey set for bankruptcy after Premier League reject request to sell players now
Published 23:00 19/02/10 By Alex Crook
Crisis club Portsmouth were last night plunged to the brink of bankruptcy after the Premier League rejected their request to sell players outside the transfer window.
The debt-ridden south coast side wanted to offload the likes of David James, Kevin Prince Boateng and Nadir Belhadj to settle their unpaid £12million tax bill.
Despite world governing body FIFA giving Pompey the go-ahead league bosses threw out the scheme after rival clubs expressed their disapproval.
Portsmouth, FA Cup winners as recently as 2008, are £60 million pounds in debt and face being wound up at the High Court on March 1.
Pompey argued being forced out of business would damage the integrity of the Premier League as their results so far this season would be scrubbed out.
League chiefs believe going into administration is a more viable option than liquidation.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was among those to voice his concern over Pompey being allowed to sell players before the window reopens in the summer.
Even Portsmouth manager Avram Grant was not if favour, saying: "I do not think it is a good idea to sell players outside the window. I do not think it is fair."
Pompey can no longer place themselves into voluntary administration and the final decision on their future will rest with the High Court.
In a further blow to their survival hopes it was revealed potential new owner New Zealand businessman Victor Cattermole is being investigated by financial regulators in his homeland.
Portsmouth last night refused to comment.