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Hart ignoring Portsmouth's financial crisis

Portsmouth boss Paul Hart insists he is not being distracted by the doubts surrounding Portsmouth's financial stability. An attempted takeover by Sulaiman al-Fahim is still to be fully completed despite the Dubai-based property tycoon agreeing to buy the club from current owner Sacha Gaydamak almost three months ago.

The situation has left Hart unable to bring in anyone on a permanent basis and has also meant he has had to raise funds by selling Pompey's better players.

"As far as I know there hasn't been a takeover yet and everyone has been made well aware of that," said Hart.

"Obviously I think it would be in the best interests of the club to get it sorted out sooner rather than later, but I am just concentrating on the football side of things at the moment, that's my job.

"That's what I'm here for, the finances are for someone else to deal with. I'm an employee of the football club I'll get told when it's right to be told and as it stands at the moment my job is out there with the players and producing a team that is going to be competitive by the start of the season."

He is under no illusions as to how difficult it will be to keep Pompey in the league in his first full season in charge, however.

"The Premier League is tough itself and for us it's going to be tough," the former Nottingham Forest manager said.

"But we are going to be one of many clubs outside the top four who will find it hard to stay in.

"Clubs are making the transition from the Championship to the Premier League and staying there is difficult.

"You have only got to look at skeletons of the past years: Leeds, Ipswich were the first, Charlton as well, it's an unforgiving place.

"But there is a hunger and ambition within the players to compete and to get this right. I'll be telling them that it's a battle. I think we know it's a fight."

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