Portsmouth to start season with 10-point deduction

 

Portsmouth have been told they must start next season in npower League One with a 10-point deduction.

The Football League said today it will accept Pompey's membership provided whoever buys the club complies with a number of conditions, notably another points deduction.

Portsmouth were also docked 10 points last season after entering administration for the second time in two years and were eventually relegated from the Championship.

Last month they moved a step closer to coming out of administration after creditors voted in favour of former owner Balram Chainrai's Company Voluntary Arrangement proposal, while the Pompey Supporters' Trust are also bidding to take over the cash-strapped club.

As well as starting next term on minus 10, the Football League say Portsmouth must agree that only a limited proportion of the secured debt from the previous club can be carried forward into the new company as secured debt.

They must pay all their football creditors in full, unless mutually acceptable compromise agreements are put in place.

Finally, Pompey will also face a range of other restrictions on playing budgets, future borrowing and loan repayments for the next five seasons.

A Football League statement read: "The Board of The Football League has agreed to make an offer of membership to the eventual purchaser of Portsmouth Football Club.

"The offer is subject to the successful bidder accepting a number of conditions that seek to ensure the sporting integrity of league football and the financial viability of the club going forward.

"The Football League Board has absolute discretion as to whether to admit any new company as a member of The League. In doing so, it has to strike a balance between giving a club another chance and the effect this has on sporting competition between clubs."

Pompey's administrator Trevor Birch promptly issued a statement branding the League's decision "very harsh" and hopes it can be reversed.

He said: "We are extremely disappointed that the Football League has decided to impose yet another penalty on the club.

"I think most people would agree that the 10-point deduction imposed last season was sufficient, particularly as it played a huge part in the club's relegation to League One.

"The fans, players and staff have suffered enough for something for which they weren't responsible. We feel it is unjustified for the club to be punished further.

"We've made it clear to the League that Portsmouth needs all the help it can get at the moment, which makes today's decision very harsh.

"I'm confident, though, that the club will bounce back from this latest setback. It's not a club that gives up that easily.

"We will have further discussions with the League in order to explore whether we can give them more comfort, particularly with regards to the old CVA creditors, and thereby have the decision reversed in respect of a points deduction.

"We will continue to do all we can to give Portsmouth the best possible chance of survival."

Birch added that the club have made significant inroads into slashing their wage bill.

Today Hayden Mullins joined Birmingham and Aaron Mokoena agreed to terminate his contract while Luke Varney and David Norris are also expected to leave within the next few days.

PA

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