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Gaydamak denies being cause of Pompey's woes

Former Portsmouth owner Alexandre Gaydamak insists he is not to blame for the financial crisis at the club which has led to yet another delay in the players being paid.

The current owners have tried to shift the responsibility on to the previous regime but Gaydamak, who sold the club to Sulaiman al-Fahim in August before he sold it on again to Ali Al Faraj, said he left it in good shape.

Gaydamak claims he is owed £28m by Pompey and the club is almost the subject of a winding-up petition from the English taxman.

Gaydamak said: "It is my opinion that they (the debts) were fully serviceable and no worse or better than any other club in the context of the Premier League.

"The people who tried to buy the club were very persistent. They tried to buy it in the summer and I decided not to sell to them because I could not be sure who was behind them and I could not be sure of the source of their money," he said.

"These chaps knew what they were getting. They must have realised there is a wage bill and the tax bill to meet every month. There are no surprises."

Gaydamak says he has written off a further £20m. He added: "I made around £50m in shareholder and directors' loans to the club during my time.

"After Sulaiman had completed the due diligence, we sat down with his advisors and it was agreed to sell the club for £1 with me continuing to guarantee the now famous £2.5m debt to Barclays and leaving loans totalling £28m, of which £9m is due for repayment this month and the rest in 2012.

"This was our contractual agreement, but in effect I had written off around £20m of the loans I made."

Club officials stated on Monday that the wages for December -- believed to be £1.8m -- would be paid yesterday but they have told the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) a further delay has now arisen.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said the club were hopeful of paying the players today. The club told the PFA the latest delay was due to paperwork needing to be completed after a short-term loan was negotiated to cover the shortfall.

In a further blow for the club, the Premier League have told Portsmouth they will not be able to re-register Jamie O'Hara as a loan signing unless the transfer embargo is lifted, and there is virtually no chance of that happening during this transfer window.


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