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Portsmouth look to sell first team to clear debt

Portsmouth look set to sell their entire first-team after the Premier League granted the cash strapped club permission to sell players outside the transfer window in order to pay off mounting debts.

Andrew Andronikou, the administrator at the south coast club, has revealed that Portsmouth will look to save £30m through the sale of up to ten players as soon as possible while others will be offloaded in the summer when their contracts run out.

The move will see Pompey bring in new players on free transfers during the summer break and should mean that there will be an entirely different first XI on show at Fratton Park next year.

Andronikou explained details of the plan to ESPN: ‘First of all, I must reassure the supporters that we will start next season with a completely new team, one that we believe will be able to compete, but most importantly we will have secured the future of the club for next season and the season after that, at least.’

‘We have got to be clever in the way we maximise the value of the clubs greatest asset, the players themselves. We need to sell between eight and 10 of our first-team squad. We currently have a first team squad of 28, we have 40 players at this club.’

‘We will have as many again who will be coming to the end of their contract, and we will be letting them go. The reason is that the game as a whole will be shedding hundreds if not thousands of players this summer, and we can pick up some top talent on free transfers.’

The Premier League decided to allow Portsmouth to sell players outside of the transfer window under a certain set of conditions. Andronikou outlined the rules and regulations to ESPN.

‘We cannot sell to our Premier League rivals, of course, but with the Premier League giving us the concession to sell outside of the transfer window, we can sell players now and keep them.’

In addition, Pompey will be allowed to sell players to teams in Russia and the Middle East if the transfer is approved by FIFA: ‘There are also some markets whose windows are open,’ Andronikou added, ‘such as Russia and the Middle East, and we are already negotiating to sell one player to the Middle East, although not for a great deal of money.’

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