Portsmouth 'may not complete season'

 

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The Independent Online

Portsmouth are in danger of not being able to fulfil all of this season's remaining Championship fixtures, the club's administrator admitted yesterday.

Trevor Birch said the club, which entered administration last month, will not receive parachute payments from the Premier League as they will go straight to the former owner Sacha Gaydamak. As a result, the club could run out of cash before the end of the season.

In a statement on Portsmouth's website, Birch said: "Following our discussions with the Premier League and Football League, it has emerged that Portsmouth Football Club is unlikely to receive any further parachute payments or other league funding.

"We had previously stated there was a real danger of the club running out of cash before the end of the season.

"The risk of this happening increases substantially without the money from the football authorities. Unless something significant happens, there is a real possibility that we may not be able to fulfil the season's fixtures.

"One potential issue appears to come from the assignment of £2.2m of parachute payments that was made by the old company to a previous owner. We have instructed lawyers to challenge this, but the process may take time."

Birch remains committed to saving the cash-strapped club but admits "the clock is ticking" to find new owners. He added: "As you'd expect, several people have got in touch with us since our appointment as administrators and made enquiries about buying the club.

"We are assessing every case and will make contact with anyone that we believe could be a serious bidder over the next few days. Any potential bidders will need to be prepared to make a major investment in the club because the outlook for next season looks challenging unless we can sell some players."

Pompey were deducted 10 points last month after going into administration for the second time in two years.

Meanwhile, the Rangers manager Ally McCoist is negotiating with the club's administrators to avoid job losses among his playing staff. McCoist was told that up to 11 players could be made redundant but he wants to cut that figure down by further cost-cutting.

If 11 players go, it is understood there would also be a 50 per cent pay cut for the remaining players deferred until the end of the season.

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