No money worries for Hart

Portsmouth boss Paul Hart is keen to meet with the club’s new owner Ali Al-Faraj soon, but admits he is not concerned about how the Arab businessman finances the club.

Portsmouth boss Paul Hart is keen to meet with the club’s new owner Ali Al-Faraj soon, but admits he is not concerned about how the Arab businessman finances the club.

Al-Faraj bought 90% of Sulaiman Al-Fahim’s shares in the club just over three weeks ago, after the Abu Dhabi businessman failed to raise the cash needed to pay the players’ September wages.

But now further questions are being asked about the club’s finances after Israeli mogul Levi Kushnir and Hong Kong-based Balram Chainrai emerged as potential investors in the club.

They have been linked with making a £15m (€16.5m) loan, which would be secured against Pompey’s assets.

But Hart, whose side play Stoke in the Carling Cup tonight, is determined to keep his players focused on their jobs and steer of the politics at Fratton Park.

He said: “If you want a straight answer, it doesn’t really concern me where it (the club’s finance) is coming from.”

Hart added: “I don’t want to get too in depth with the politics of the situation. My job is hopefully to keep the players focused on the football side and let whatever has to happen, happen.

“I try and talk to the players, reassure them and all that sort of stuff. I don’t think it’s too difficult. They’re a great set of lads.

“They get their heads down, concentrate and I haven’t noticed anything untoward happening with them.”

Hart admits he would be keen to discuss the club’s future with Al-Faraj, who is set to attend the Wigan game at Fratton Park on Saturday.

He said: “A club needs to know where it is going and have a long-term plan. I wouldn’t like to go any further with that because I haven’t had these conversations with the new owners. I would anticipate this would be in the next month.”

Meanwhile, Hart admits he approached former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink over a possible coaching job at Pompey.

He said: “I was talking to Jimmy about a role but it just didn’t come off.”

Asked whether he was seeking to add to his backroom team, despite Avram Grant’s arrival as director of football, Hart said: “It’s possible but it’s not a major issue.”

Portsmouth will be without cup-tied quartet Kevin-Prince Boateng, Jamie O’Hara, Mike Williamson and Tommy Smith for the fourth-round clash.

However midfielder Michael Brown returns from suspension after sitting out the draw with Hull following a red card against Tottenham on October 17.

Hermann Hreidarsson is still recovering from a foot tendon injury, while Papa Bouba Diop and Richard Hughes have hamstring and hip troubles respectively.

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