Page last updated at 19:31 GMT, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Portsmouth FC administrators axe 85 jobs to cut costs

Portsmouth team on pitch at Fratton Park
None of the Portsmouth job cuts affect players

The administrators of Portsmouth have started to make employees redundant, with 85 people losing their jobs.

Administrator Andrew Andronikou said no players were being made redundant as they were the "shop window" with regards to finding a potential buyer.

He also said he had held constructive talks with the tax authorities, and provided them with further details about club finances.

Portsmouth are the first Premier League club to enter administration.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has been seeking a winding up order against the club, and Portsmouth is due in the High Court next Monday, as revenues and customs officials have challenged the terms of the club's administration.

Mr Andronikou said that the authorities "should now be satisfied" that his appointment as administrator was valid.

He also said other staff had agreed to work fewer hours and that he would attempt to agree salary deferrals with others.

He also said "one or two" players had offered to take pay cuts.

'Players protected'

The administrator was adamant that all prize money earned by Portsmouth from reaching the FA Cup semi-final would go to the club.

He added that Portsmouth would be taking its place in the semi-final and would "certainly fulfil its fixture list this season and begin the new season in August 2010".

Mr Andronikou also said chief executive Peter Storrie - who has been criticised over his handling of Portsmouth's troubles - had tendered his resignation. In the meantime, he has taken a 40% wage cut and currently remains in his post.

"Peter Storrie has tendered his resignation, he is working to a timetable. He is still chief executive today. It may very well change," Mr Andronikou said.

He added that his hands were tied in relation to the playing wage bill as the players were "very much protected by [players' union] the PFA".

Before the job cuts the club had a staff of 166 full-time employees, and 154 part-time.

The club's administrator added that he had received substantial interest in buyers for the stricken club, but only two had been able to show proof of funds.



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