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Portsmouth lose nine points for entering administration


Pompey future 'secure' despite points penalty

Crisis club Portsmouth have been docked nine points by the Premier League for going into administration last month.

It means the bottom-placed side are now 17 points from safety with nine games left, making relegation almost certain.

With debts of about £65m, Pompey became the first Premier League club in history to enter administration.

Administrator Andrew Andronikou said the points penalty was inevitable but the Premier League had discussed ways to ease Pompey's finances.

Although the finer points have not been totally finalised - that could happen on Thursday - Andronikou said the Premier League had been very helpful and suggested Portsmouth could receive an advance of their television money.

"What you've heard in the press is certainly what has been discussed in their offices," he said.

"Before we took on the (administrative) appointment we looked at the financial position of the club in terms of its requirements to finish the season.

"Obviously we remodelled the club financially and we were quite confident we could at least complete this season.

"Having been here nearly three weeks, with the cost-cutting we put into place, I now feel more comfortable the club can trade and survive in the Championship."

The announcement came a day after HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) formally dropped its challenge over the validity of the club's move into administration.

In a statement, the Premier League said: "Following the High Court's decision that Portsmouth FC's administration is valid the Premier League board convened to apply the League's rules and policies in relation to a member club suffering an event of insolvency.

League table
The deduction means Portsmouth can reach a maximum of 37 points

"As a result Portsmouth FC has been deducted nine points with immediate effect. As part of this process the board met with the administrator to agree how we will work together for the remainder of the season to ensure that the club is able fulfil its commitments."

Premier League rules dictate that clubs entering administration are automatically deducted nine points - a point less than in the Football League as there are fewer clubs in the division - and means Grant's side are now firmly rooted to the foot of the table, 14 points behind Burnley and Hull, in 18th and 19th spot.

A drop to the Championship for the south-coast side looks extremely likely, although they can look forward to an FA Cup semi-final clash with Fulham or Tottenham in April.

Grant added last month that his sympathies lay with the Pompey supporters and that they should not be the ones to suffer for the club's financial problems.

Matt Slater

"The fans should not be victims in this scenario," the Israeli said. "Of course, we should not be docked nine points. All my life I have been fighting for justice and in the interests of fair play, we need football to be decided on the field.

"Maybe someone, somewhere, will think about the fans, who have done nothing wrong."

Portsmouth have also been told they will not be able to compete in Europe next season, even if they win the FA Cup, having beaten Birmingham to make the last four.

Andronikou was appointed on 26 February with the aim of cutting costs and finding a buyer for the Hampshire team, currently owned by Hong Kong businessman Balram Chainrai who took control in early February.

The club, who opted to go into administration ahead of a scheduled winding up order from HMRC, announced last week they had axed 85 jobs, although no players have so far been forced to leave.

The administrator has stated that there are "five substantial interested parties" keen to buy the club, confirming that he has met Cheshire millionaire Rob Lloyd, who is leading a consortium interested in buying the club.

Andronikou revealed after the points deduction was announced on Wednesday, that the investors behind a takeover bid headed by Lloyd would need to reveal their identities and proof of funds to him and the Premier League if they wanted to proceed.

"There will have to be more clarity about his backers before the middle of next week," Andronikou said. "It is part of a bundle of information I need to see. We need the whole picture."

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see also
Portsmouth Europa appeal rejected
22 Apr 10 |  Portsmouth
HMRC drops Portsmouth challenge
16 Mar 10 |  Business
Pompey axe 85 jobs to cut costs
10 Mar 10 |  Business
Pompey must appeal for Cup money
08 Mar 10 |  Portsmouth
Grant salutes Portsmouth spirit
06 Mar 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey administrator role probed
02 Mar 10 |  Portsmouth
Kiwi businessman eyes Pompey deal
01 Mar 10 |  Portsmouth
Points deduction unjust - Grant
27 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth enter administration
26 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey labelled 'dysfunctional'
26 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth

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