FA to probe Portsmouth's £105m meltdown

Shock move to Fratton Park by head of integrity unit will hinder investigation

Portsmouth's revelations about their shambolic financial mismanagement are to be probed by the Football Association – although the FA finds itself in the extraordinary position of having just lost its chief investigator to Portsmouth.

The FA's financial regulation team has already taken a keen interest in the remarkable facts and figures outlined by the club's administrator, Andrew Andronikou, as revealed by The Independent on Wednesday. However, it is hamstrung by the fact that its "head of integrity", David Lampitt, resigned two weeks ago to take up the position of Portsmouth's chief executive.

The move shocked the FA, where Lampitt had worked for seven years. Yesterday sources at the FA said that Lampitt had been "removed from front-line duty" while he saw out his notice. It is understood that an acting "head of integrity" has been put in Lampitt's place and that his former team is now poring over the figures that make up the £105m debts of Portsmouth for evidence of wrong-doing.

As Lampitt is a former accountant with an expertise in football governance, there was widespread disbelief in the FA that he would leave for Portsmouth. His team had worked closely with Andronikou ever since the club went into administration on 26 February. Now the FA has its most experienced investigator "crossing over to the other side", as one source put it, as it tries to untangle arguably the worst case of financial mismanagement in modern English football.

It is not clear whether Lampitt, 35, knew the extent of the problems that Portsmouth face when he agreed to join earlier this month. He has taken charge of a number of FA investigations, including one into the agent Willie McKay. McKay was cleared of any wrongdoing and now, according to the Portsmouth creditors list, is owed £225,000 by the club.

The FA announced yesterday in conjunction with the Premier League that it will not support any late application by Portsmouth for a Uefa licence, which means that the club will not be able to play in the Europa League. Privately both are despairing that Portsmouth missed the deadline in the first place. The club's debts also mean it would be unlikely to qualify under Uefa rules.

The FA refused to comment yesterday on what part of the 70-page report into Portsmouth's debts it would be focussing on. The saga around the £1m owed to Tottenham for Asmir Begovic – despite the fact that the keeper was never registered to Spurs – would be an obvious place to start but Spurs have had no indication yet that the FA wants the paperwork for that case.

Spurs yesterday defended themselves against allegations of wrongdoing. They claimed that the £1m owed to them was a reimbursement after they paid a total combined fee to Portsmouth for Younes Kaboul and Begovic – thought to be around £8m – and Begovic refused to join the London club. He eventually signed for Stoke City.

A spokesman for Spurs said: "In order to assist Portsmouth with their financial difficulties we paid [them] an agreed sum of money, whilst at the same time concluding an agreement that, should Begovic be sold or loaned to any club other than ourselves, we would be repaid the sum of £1m."

To add confusion, Stoke's chairman Peter Coates said that his club paid £3m for Begovic – which raised questions over why Spurs valued him at just £1m of the entire deal and could yet catch the eye of the FA financial regulations team.

After Portsmouth were denied their place in the Europa League next season, which they have qualified for by reaching the FA Cup final, Andronikou launched an attack on the Premier League and the FA, accusing them of failing to support the club.

He said: "We are very disappointed all round. We will go to Uefa and explore every avenue before we admit defeat. We are still a member of the Premier League for a few more weeks at least and they should be championing us. I think it's quite a shambles. There are rules and regulations but there is also football protocol and the way they have approached this subject means they must have made a significant U-turn in the last 24 hours."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas