Portsmouth's problems show no sign of improving after the Premier League confirmed that Paul Hart's side had been banned from signing any new players until they settle transfer debts owed to other English clubs.
Pompey had attempted to sign the former Nottingham Forest midfielder Eugen Bopp on Monday, but the Premier League blocked the move.
Hart knows Bopp, who is currently a free agent after being released by Crewe Alexandra, from their time together at The City Ground.
Premier League spokesman Dan Johnson said: "We can confirm that there is an embargo on Portsmouth registering any new players."
Saudi businessman Ali Al Faraj took over at Fratton Park three weeks ago, buying a 90 per cent stake from previous owner Sulaiman Al Fahim, while Israeli Levi Kushnir and Hong Kong-based Balram Chainrai have since emerged as potential investors in the ailing club.
However, the transfer ban is the latest in a long line of off-the-field problems for the club.
There was a delay in the players' wages being paid in September, while the club was on the brink of administration in August.