Difference Of Opinion
After the players were finally paid today, Jacob told The News that Pompey will only sell players if Avram Grant agrees to it, which contradicts what Peter Storrie said previously where he practically admitted that players would have to be sold to pay the upcoming bills.
Storrie says that there'll be no firesale but "one or two" may (ed: will) have to leave, though Jacob says that there is "no need to sell" and that things will be "vastly different" a year from now. (I agree, instead of preparing for a trip to West London this weekend I'll probably be gearing up for Barnsley away.)
I'm not sure who to believe but Storrie's assessment of the situation seems far more likely given the crippling debt hanging over the club.
Pompey are reported to be £80 million in debt, £45 million is owed in loans to the club from Alexandre Gaydamak and Balam Chainrai, the Hong Kong businessman who has virtually paid the players' wages for them when wages were delayed in October last year.
The other £35 million is said to be owed in transfer fees to other clubs and HMRC.
The £7 million in TV money that Pompey were set to receive has been given to Tottenham, Chelsea and Watford but Jacob says that around £40 million will be making its way to the Pompey accounts by January 10th, and the transfer embargo will be lifted on January 12th.
If the reported £40 million is true (and I have no reason to believe it is), then that should go to paying off Gaydamak the £9 million he is owed by the end of the month and to whatever Pompey owe HMRC to avoid the prospect of administration on February 10th.
I'm not expecting anyone to be sold right away, but I await this coming Tuesday with great anticipation. If what Jacob says is true, Pompey's short-term woes will be over and Avram Grant will be free to buy players, safe in the knowledge that he won't have to sell anyone.
I'm not holding my breath.