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Portsmouth look to sell players to clear debt

Portsmouth have asked the Premier League, FIFA and the FA for permission to sell players outside of the designated transfer window as they look to keep the club afloat.

'I can confirm we have put in a request to the Premier League to sell players outside the transfer window. It is something we are exploring,' a spokesperson for Pompey told reporters earlier today.

The South East club need to pay a £11.7m tax bill by March 1 to avoid being declared insolvent and are hoping to clear the debt through the sale of a number of players. Nadir Belhadj, Kevin Prince-Boateng and Mark Wilson are the three players that will reportedly be sold off.

While the Premier League is reported to be in favour of the move as it looks to avoid the potential chaos that would be caused by Portsmouth's demise it appears unlikely that either the FA or FIFA will give the initiative the green light.

Simon Wilson of restructuring experts Zolfo Cooper spoke to The Guardian about the very real threat of Pompey ceasing to exist as a football club.

'Arguably, the level of debt associated with this case, will mean that it is unlikely that a suitable or willing benefactor will be found,' Wilson said. 'Portsmouth therefore face the very real threat of liquidation because it is increasingly unlikely that an administration order will be sought or granted.'

'In this eventuality, the players contracts are no longer assets of the club and it would lose its membership of the Premier League. The role of the liquidator would be to realise whatever free and available assets still remain.'

'The value of these assets would be nominal. While the unsecured creditors, including HMRC, would likely see no return from such a process, it is not in their interests to continue to support a business that is simply not viable and has no financial substance.'

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