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Page last updated at 22:42 GMT, Friday, 26 February 2010

Administrator vows to save debt-ridden Portsmouth

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Portsmouth debt 60-70m - Administrator

Portsmouth's administrator Andrew Andronikou has vowed to save the debt-ridden club and said all its finances will be "reviewed and scrutinised".

Pompey became the first Premier League club in history to enter administration after racking up debts of "£60-£70m".

Andronikou says he faces some difficult decisions over the next few weeks but has told fans not to give up hope.

"I promise we will save your club and take you forward," he said. "I will be cutting to the bone, I can assure you."

Portsmouth went into administration on Friday, and Andronikou, an insolvency practitioner from UHY Hacker Young, now has the job of assessing the extent of the damage, along with colleague Peter Kubik.

Andronikou said: "We are looking to immediately address the significant monthly tax burden of the club by implementing a swift cost rationalisation programme.

"Every aspect of the club's overheads will be reviewed and scrutinised. Our aim is to maximise all revenues and to eradicate all unnecessary costs.

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"Restructuring starts today. There will be significant cost cuts at all levels... we have a huge job to deal with."

Some sections of Portsmouth's supporters have attributed much of the blame for the club's demise to chief executive Peter Storrie's dealings in the transfer market.

However, Storrie, who will tender his resignation when the south coast club is sold, has vigorously defended his eight-year tenure.

"I'm absolutely certain the administrator will go through the numbers and show everybody the figures, and I hope he does," he said.

"I would encourage him to show every single person the numbers of what we got for players and what they cost us, because I'm sick and tired of these ridiculous comments.

"People forget that, yes, you get all this income in, but what about the cost of all these players to buy them?" added Storrie.

"They don't come for free, they come with transfer fees, they come with sell-ons when you sell them on."

Andronikou believes it will be necessary to sell "one or two" of Storrie's acquisitions, although the club would need special dispensation from Fifa and the Premier League to do this outside of a transfer window period.

The Premier League has already rejected one attempt by Pompey to sell players now that the window has been shut since the end of January.

"We are asking the Premier League for their assistance, this is a very new area for them," said Andronikou.

"There will be a meeting with the Premier League next Thursday where I will make a presentation.

"I need to generate working capital in the next two months. As part of that process we will have to sell one or two players... but I am not looking to sell players on a fire-sale basis."

Andronikou was hopeful Pompey could receive their television parachute payments - a small share of TV revenue in the region of £20m that the Premier League pays to relegated teams over two years - before their likely drop to the Championship.

Portsmouth news conference in full

Under Premier League rules, clubs that go into administration are deducted nine points.

If, as anticipated, the League enforce this rule, Pompey would have a total of seven points - a massive 17 points off safety.

However, Andronikou believes the deduction is not necessarily inevitable and hinted he may ask the league to withhold the punishment.

"I understand everyone is taking it for granted we are going to be docked the nine points. It is something I need to broach with the Premier League and then look to start talking about parachute payments," he said.

"I need that to be confirmed during the course of the week. We need to go through the formal process. I think it's early days to be talking about deducting the nine points.

"It is the rule at the moment but we are the first Premier League club to have gone into administration so let's just test the rule," he added.

Andronikou also said that manager Avram Grant had promised him he would stay until the end of the season.

"I've spoken to him briefly," said the administrator. "He has given his full support to stay till the end of the season.

"It would be very naive of me to start looking for a new manager."

Asked about the decision of chief executive Peter Storrie to tender his resignation, Andronikou added: "His position has become untenable. I understand he is in a very difficult position but my main priority is the football club.

Where did it all go wrong for Portsmouth?

Where did it all go wrong for Portsmouth?

"From what I've seen, I have every confidence Pompey will fulfil its fixture list and will be playing football next year."

He also said he will continue discussions with parties interested in investing in or taking over the club.

However, he will demand "proof of funds up front" from any would-be buyers and insists they must satisfy the Premier League's 'fit and proper person' requirement.

The Football Association, meanwhile, has expressed its sympathy to Pompey fans over their club's plight.

"We regret to see any football club enter administration and we would express our sympathy, in particular, to the supporters of Portsmouth Football Club," an FA spokesperson said.

"We have been regularly informed over the status of Portsmouth by our colleagues at the Premier League. The FA will continue to support the Premier League during this process."



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see also
Portsmouth enter administration
26 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
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
Pompey draw strength from crisis
13 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


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