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Sportal hit by ‘challenging time’

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There are fears about the future of Sportal's European operations amidst these uncertain economic times.

The sports portal operation is currently in negotiation with shareholders and employees about how to move forward.

Although no redundancies have been announced the company has not ruled out job cuts in the future.

In a statement the company said: "It is an exceedingly challenging time for all.

"Having completed a recent round of financing and a major re-structuring of the group, we have been faced with significantly deteriorating market conditions.

"Sportal expects the impending recession to last through 2002 and accordingly it is difficult to predict when any upturn in market conditions will occur," it said.

This grim assessment only applies to Sportal's European operations and does not affect Sportal Asia, Sportal Australia or Sportal South Africa, which are separate companies.

In August, the sports dotcom secured £8 million of new financing which it claimed would "see [it] through to profitability in early 2002".

That now seems as likely as Southampton winning at home. ®

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