Administrator vows to save Portsmouth
Friday 26 February 2010
Portsmouth administrator Andrew Andronikou insists every aspect of the ailing club's finances will be "reviewed and scrutinised" - but has promised supporters he will save the south coast side.
The club went into administration this morning with debts of £70million and Andronikou, an insolvency practitioner from UHY Hacker Young, now has the job of assessing the extent of the damage along with colleague Peter Kubik.
Andronikou said in a statement: "We are looking to immediately address the significant monthly tax burden of the club by implementing a swift cost rationalisation programme.
"Every aspect of the club's overheads will be reviewed and scrutinised. Our aim is to maximise all revenues and to eradicate all unnecessary costs.
"We have many difficult decisions to make in next few days. I promise you we will save your club and take you forward."
Andronikou also believes it will be necessary to sell "one or two" players, although the club would need special dispensation from FIFA to do this outside of a transfer window period.
He also said that manager Avram Grant had promised him he would stay until the end of the season.
Andronikou will continue discussions with parties interested in investing in taking over the club, but will demand "proof of funds up front" and insists they must satisfy the Premier League's 'fit and proper person' requirement.
Andronikou admitted he would be making massive cuts at the club.
"I will be cutting to the bone, I can assure you," he said. "Restructuring starts today. There will be significant cost cuts at all levels. We have a huge job to deal with.
"I need to generate working capital in the next two months, we will have to sell one or two players but I am not looking to sell players on a fire-sale basis.
"We are asking the Premier League for their assistance, this is very new for them. There will be a meeting with the Premier League next Thursday where I will make a presentation."
Andronikou revealed Pompey could receive their television parachute payments early and that they still hoped to sell players outside of the transfer window, despite already being denied permission once.
"Advance parachute payments? There is a possibility yes," he added. "We are also hoping to obtain some form of concession to sell players."
Asked about the decision of chief executive Peter Storrie to tender his resignation, Andronikou added: "His position has become untenable, I understand he is in a very difficult position but my main priority is the football club.
"From what I've seen I have every confidence Pompey will fulfil its fixture list and will be playing football next year."
As for the manager's position, he revealed: "I've spoken to him briefly, he has given his full support to stay till the end of the season.
"It would be very naive of me to start looking for a new manager."
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