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Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Friday, 26 February 2010

Pompey become first top-flight club in administration

Where did it all go wrong for Portsmouth?

Where did it all go wrong for Portsmouth?

Portsmouth, with debts of about £60m, have become the first Premier League club to enter administration.

The club will be docked nine points as a result and face almost certain relegation to the Championship.

Pompey, who have had four owners this season, were due to face a winding-up order on 1 March but decided to go into administration in a bid to survive.

It was reported that four parties were considering a takeover but no deal was completed before Thursday's deadline.

BBC Sport understands the three directors of the Premier League board will meet next week to agree when the nine points should formally be taken off.

MATT SLATER BLOG

In a statement, the League said its board will meet Portsmouth's administrators at the earliest opportunity to "receive their views on the [club's]financial status and set out the conditions for it to fulfil its commitments for the remainder of the season".

Meanwhile, administrator Andrew Andronikou, of insolvency experts UHY Hacker Young, now has the responsibility of beginning the process of cutting costs at the club to try to keep it as a viable entity.

Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie revealed he would tender his resignation when the administrators had sold the club and said it was "an extremely sad day for everyone connected with the club."

He added: "By this course of action owner Balram Chainrai has kept the club alive and given someone an exceptional opportunity to take this great club on with fresh investment to steer Portsmouth in a positive direction.

Fan blames 'men at the top'

"It is my intention to work with the administrator to help sell the business and I hope that will be quick as there is already interest in acquiring the club."

Milan Mandaric, chairman of Portsmouth from 1998 to 2006 and now Leicester chief, told BBC Midlands Late Kick Off: "It's really sad. It's not right. I just hope for the sake of the club, and the sporting community, and football in that city, they sort things out.

"And I think they eventually will. That club will never die. That club has a lion's heart. The fans love their club, they will always be there. Unfortunately they don't deserve these kinds of difficulties."

Friday's announcement follows weeks of speculation over the survival of the cash-strapped south coast side and is a big blow to the reputation of the Premier League, widely admired throughout the world.

Portsmouth, who employ nearly 600 people directly or indirectly, have been labelled "completely dysfunctional" by accountant Nick O'Reilly of Vantis. He also warned to expect a "rocky" time ahead.

Pompey can 'rise from ashes' - Redknapp

"The next few months are crucial to the business," he added. "People will lose jobs, but hopefully the club will come out the other side."

As well as struggling at the bottom of the Premier League, Portsmouth have suffered a catalogue of ongoing financial problems.

Players have been paid late on four occasions this season, while the club is also involved in a separate dispute with former owner Sacha Gaydamak over whether they have missed a deadline in paying a £9m chunk of the £28m they owe him.

The Premier League also withheld £2m of transfer payments and diverted a £7m slice of TV revenue to Chelsea and Watford to cover the signings of Glen Johnson and Tommy Smith.

They are also being sued by former defender Sol Campbell for £1.7m for unpaid image rights.

It looks like administration is necessary and hopefully will give the club a chance to recover

Former Pompey boss Paul Hart

Chainrai recently became Portsmouth's fourth owner of the season, taking 90% of the club shares after the previous owner Ali Al Faraj defaulted on loan payments due to him.

Phil Hall, spokesman for Chainrai, defended the club's owner and said that administration was unavoidable because of the size of debt.

"He (Chainrai) was given false promises when he came in. He asked the questions and was given answers and assurances that turned out not to be true," Hall said.

"Having put £17m of his own money in, unfortunately he found the club facing a winding-up order on Monday.

Angry fan confronts chief executive Storrie

"He had a choice of allowing the club to go into administration, for someone to go in and try to bring it back into a stronger financial position. He feels he's a victim - the club have been overwhelmed by these debts and he is a reluctant owner.

"He wants to do what is right for the club but also to protect what money he's put in."

Despite their precarious financial position, O'Reilly believes the club will continue to exist, while former Pompey boss Paul Hart, sacked in November after just four months in charge, thinks administration could provide a platform for a "fresh start".

He told BBC Radio 5 live: "I think the club can be strong again if they use some foresight and planning and adopt a restructuring programme.

"It looks like administration is necessary and hopefully will give the club a chance to recover.

"The supporters have been long suffering and there are some very good, conscientious people who work there we should be thinking about because their jobs are in a precarious position."

Administration an opportunity - Hart

Despite the threat of the club being forced into offloading its only asset - the players - many fans will be relieved they still have a club to support with fixtures remaining unaffected.

Pompey travel to fellow-strugglers Burnley on Saturday before the FA Cup quarter-final clash with Birmingham the following weekend.

It has been a tumultuous two years at Fratton Park since manager Harry Redknapp, who moved to Tottenham last season, steered them to FA Cup glory in 2008 - their first significant silverware in 58 years.

England striker Jermain Defoe and midfielder Lasanna Diarra were sold in January 2009 and Defoe's England team-mates Peter Crouch and Glen Johnson followed at the end of last season.

Keeper Asmir Begovic and defender Younes Kaboul were offloaded last month and only a Premier League ruling that the club could not sell players outside the transfer window prevented further sales.



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see also
Reaction to Portsmouth's plight
26 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey labelled 'dysfunctional'
26 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey fans react to club crisis
26 Feb 10 |  Hampshire
Pompey fans wary of share offer
22 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth transfer plea rejected
20 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Premier League defends owner test
18 Feb 10 |  Premier League
Pompey chairman denies debt claim
17 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Utaka hits out at salary reports
17 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey draw strength from crisis
13 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey given extra time by court
10 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey takeover to be challenged
04 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey site back after shutdown
28 Jan 10 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth give wages assurance
02 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Storrie refuses to quit at Pompey
29 Jan 10 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth transfer embargo ended
26 Jan 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey 'working hard' to pay debt
15 Jan 10 |  Portsmouth


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