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Page last updated at 16:49 GMT, Monday, 7 June 2010 17:49 UK

Portsmouth creditors offered new deal

Portsmouth fans
Portsmouth fans will be watching their club in the Championship next season

By John Sinnott

Portsmouth creditors have been offered potentially 99 pence in the pound - a figure far in excess of the one on the table from the administrator.

Pompey administrator Andrew Andronikou is offering a maximum 25p in the pound.

The rival offer has been put together by Insolvency experts Griffins, which represents some of Pompey's creditors.

Griffins says creditors could receive a minimum 65p in the pound, but if former owner Sacha Gaydamak drops his £32m claim against Pompey that rises to 99p.

"Those that caused or presided over the period that gave rise to this situation ought to bear much of the cost of putting it right," says the Griffins proposal.

If and when Portsmouth emerge from a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) - which allows them to exit administration - the club will be run under new ownership, while the 'old club's' conduct in the run-up to administration would be investigated by a liquidator.

Griffins' proposal refers to the possibility that Gaydamak could be liable for a claim of over £50m if there was evidence he had breached his duties - for example if he was found to have allowed Portsmouth to trade while insolvent before entering administration.

"Griffins are waving a big stick at Gaydamak," insolvency lawyer Guy Thomas of SA Law LLP told BBC Sport. "They are saying: 'If there is a claim against Gaydamak and he acts generously now, voting for this proposal, why would any liquidator come after you?'"

Andronikou's proposal, which has the premise that the club need money to return to the Premier League, lasts five years with 75% of unsecured creditors needing to support it to gain approval.

Andronikou of UHY Hacker Young, has offered 20p in the pound, rising to 25p if the club is promoted.

Griffins' proposal is based on the principle that Pompey's creditors, who have funded the struggling club over the last few years, should have the first claim to the future income generated by the club.

That future income - available to either the club or creditors - includes parachute payments that relegated clubs receive as well as television rights money and player sales.

Griffins also wants a "clear link between the club and the money it gets from fans so that the fans can understand how they can help their club in the future."

The Griffins offer would allow for a budget of a mid-table championship side with a squad of 25 players.

In April, Portsmouth's administrators revealed that the relegated Premier League club's debts stood at £119m, up from a figure of £60m-£70m in February when the club became the first in the Premier League to enter administration.

"It's the creditors' choice how and when the club will emerge from administration, not the current administrators," added Thomas.

"If, having considered both documents carefully, they choose Griffins' analysis over Andronikou's then they will likely reject the current administrator's CVA proposal.

"Like UHY Hacker Young - Andronikou's firm - Griffins is a professional insolvency firm. One looking to "retain" an existing appointment and the other looking to gain new ones. They say competition is a good thing, hopefully this one will end up benefiting the creditors."

The creditors are due to meet on 17 June to vote on the CVA with Portsmouth needing the support of 75% of creditors to have it approved.

Failure to secure a CVA could result in the club incurring future points deductions in the Football League.

The BBC understands that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, who say they are owed £35m by Portsmouth, will vote against Andronikou's proposal to take Pompey out of administration, arguing that the amount does not offer a suitable return for taxpayers.



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see also
Portsmouth debts close to 120m
21 Apr 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey administrator role probed
02 Mar 10 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth enter administration
26 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey labelled 'dysfunctional'
26 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth


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