Portsmouth's relegation from the Premier League will become little more than a formality when the South Coast club are deducted nine points this week for going into administration.
The Premier League board are due to meet in London on Wednesday to ratify the imposition of the penalty. Currently Portsmouth are on 19 points and are eight points adrift from safety, ahead of tonight's visit to Liverpool.
Portsmouth first must attend a High Court hearing on Tuesday over the validity of the club's decision to move into administration. It is expected the hearing will be little more than a formality now that HM Revenue and Customs is no longer contesting the legality of the course of action taken by Portsmouth owner Balram Chainrai, who put the club into administration after HMRC brought a winding-up order over £12m in unpaid taxes.
Once that hearing is over, the Premier League board will meet to confirm that Portsmouth will be deducted nine points. It is unlikely that Portsmouth will contest the decision, despite a statement last month from the club's administrator, Andrew Andronikou, that he hoped they might be able to avoid the imposition.
Portsmouth's administrator yesterday spoke at being "pissed off" by the antics of the latest consortium interested in buying the club, whose debts total £80m. Property developer Rob Lloyd, who in 2008 starred in Channel 4 TV show The Secret Millionaire, announced he would be meeting fans to discuss his plans, which are said to be backed by a New York hedge fund.
Andronikou said: "I am bemused and more than slightly worried by his approach to win the hearts and minds of the supporters before coming to see me. We have spoken to the professionals involved, but not the person himself, and when you are signing non-disclosure agreements, it worries you that they then go and make public statements. I need to know far more. I need to know who else is involved.
"We need to find a fit and proper person, not a chancer, and I am not saying this guy is a chancer, but there have been too many mistakes in the past with the owners of this club. At the moment, all I can say is that he has gone behind my back and that worries me. It pisses me off."
Lloyd, 46, is prepared to place £3m a month as a deposit and to make around £15m available to cover running costs, but the administrator wants far more details about who else is involved in the consortium. Last week Andronikou made 85 members of staff redundant. Peter Storrie also stepped down as chief executive, but will stay on to help the administrators.Reuse content