Portsmouth confident of Europa League place

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The Independent Football

Portsmouth's administrator is confident the club will be able to satisfy UEFA financial rules and be allowed to play in the Europa League next season.

Pompey's appearance in the FA Cup final guarantees a place in the Europa League if they can get a UEFA club licence and administrator Andrew Andronikou has been poring over the details of the regulations.

He now believes that the club can make a strong case to be approved to play in Europe before the May 31 deadline, and that it would be wrong to prevent them from doing so.

Andronikou told Press Association Sport: "Since Sunday we have been scoping out what we can do and trawling through legalities.

"I believe that we will satisfy all the criteria. We should be in a CVA (company voluntary arrangement) by the deadline, all debts will have been sorted out and arrangements made with the football creditors. We should tick all the boxes.

"In terms of sport ethics, I think the club has had its medicine, has been taught its lesson and should be allowed to go forward and preventing them from playing in the Europa League would be wrong."

UEFA delegate their licensing scheme to national associations so it will be the Football Association which needs to sign off Portsmouth's application.

The main issues are that there should be no late payments outstanding to other clubs, or to staff and players.

If Portsmouth are in a CVA with a new debt payment schedule agreed, then they should qualify on that basis. The other outstanding issue will be the need to file independently audited accounts.

If Portsmouth's bid is not approved, then Everton could benefit and their manager David Moyes does not think the governing bodies will be persuaded.

Moyes said: "I was told Portsmouth had not applied to be in Europe. So if that was the case, they were not a consideration.

"It will be unfortunate for them but if they had not applied, you cannot say 'We want to do it now'."

Meanwhile, Andronikou said that if Portsmouth beat Chelsea to win the FA Cup the club will benefit significantly in financial terms, in stark contrast to their 2008 victory when the win triggered huge payment clauses in players' image rights and transfer fee deals.

He added: "That was the issue in 2008, the bonus clauses were too geared to the players and not the club.

"Lessons were learned, a number of players then at the club have moved on and things have been addressed.

"If Portsmouth win the FA Cup there will be a huge financial benefit to the club.

"Even getting to the final has made the club far more attractive and puts it centre stage in terms of parties interested in taking it over.

"We believe that will now gather pace over the next few weeks."

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