By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger believes a dangerous precedent would be set if Portsmouth were allowed to sell players outside the transfer window.
The window slammed shut on February 1 but the cash-strapped south-coast club have applied to the Premier League for special dispensation as they prepare to fight a winding-up order by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs on March 1.
According to reports, Portsmouth are £60million in debt and want to raise funds and cut their wage bill by selling Nadir Belhadj, Kevin Prince-Boateng and Marc Wilson.
Wenger hopes Portsmouth can find a way to survive but he insists that bending the transfer rules is not a viable solution.
"I believe it would set a precedent that would be difficult to cover afterwards," explained the manager.
"Every mis-management after any season could make the same request and we would be in a position where we could not forbid it. That is why I am much more sceptical about that solution.
"For the credibility of the competition, even if they get the television money for the next year, or the parachute money they get in the next two years even if they go down, they have some solutions to be found for the credibility of the Premier League.
"But to sell the players, for me anyway, would be a bad solution, because they say ‘now we go with no team and we continue to play in the Premier League with a team which is not Premier League [class] anymore'."

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19 Feb 2010