Portsmouth face another points loss

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The Independent Football

Portsmouth have entered administration for the second time in three seasons.

The Championship club face being penalised at least 10 points, but could be docked up to 20. They are currently in 18th place, 11 points above bottom-placed Doncaster Rovers.

Pompey had been issued with a winding-up petition by HM Revenue and Customs on 3 January, which was followed by the freezing of the club's bank accounts. The administrator will be Trevor Birch of PKF, a firm with a track record of dealing with clubs in administration.

The club had asked the court to appoint Andrew Andronikou, who oversaw the club's last administration two years ago and is currently handling the same process with Pompey's parent company. But in a statement, HMRC said it was concerned about a possible conflict of interest had Andronikou been appointed. The administration order enables Pompey to access their bank accounts and continue trading while Birch, who was proposed as administrator by HMRC, looks for new owners.

The HMRC statement added that it "is pleased that the court agreed with our view that the creditors of any business have a right to expect that the administrator in these circumstances is completely independent".

Mr Birch said he hoped the club's supporters would also be happy to see a new face in charge. "The intention is to try and sell the club as a going concern," he said. "I'm used to dealing with clubs in crisis. You could say most of the Championship is in crisis, with 30 per cent per cent of clubs paying wages in excess of 100 per cent of their turnover."

During the hearing at the High Court, it was revealed that Portsmouth currently owe around £2m to business creditors, as well as a similar sum to HMRC in unpaid tax.

Among those creditors are West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bristol City, as well as the Football League itself. Portsmouth City Council is owed £78,000. It also emerged that electricity and gas suppliers have been threatening to cut off power to the club's Fratton Park stadium for non-payment.

Meanwhile, the former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric says he has "no interest" in becoming involved with Rangers. The Serb was responding to reports that he had contacted the Glasgow club's administrators, Duff and Phelps, about a possible takeover.

"I can categorically deny there is any substance to these stories," he said. "I have never had any dialogue [with] anyone relating to Rangers.

"Glasgow Rangers is a huge football club with a great heritage and history, but I already have that here at Sheffield Wednesday."