Pompey to appeal Revenue's demand for £15m

Portsmouth's debt crisis was plunged into further confusion last night when it emerged the administrators would appeal against the latest claim for outstanding payments.

The £15m Inland Revenue claim, which was lodged last week and revealed at a heated five-hour creditors meeting on Thursday when a four-strong team from the administrators UHY Hacker Young were bombarded with questions, is understood to involve payments for image rights rather than player salaries. If so, this would serve as a worrying precedent that could have widespread ramifications for the Premier League.

"We understand the new claim is over image rights," administrator Andrew Andronikou said yesterday. "This is a deliberate effort by HMRC to try and get a stronger foothold. Why are Portsmouth being used as a test case?" Image rights have traditionally been protected from substantial PAYE payments with special concessions, and Andronikou said: "This sends out a warning sign to a number of larger clubs employing international players. If they are successful against Portsmouth, it will have a significant knock-on."

The latest claim took Portsmouth's debt to £138m, a figure that will inevitably lead to a clearout with as many as 11 out-of-contract players leaving after Saturday's FA Cup final with Chelsea.

It is understood that £14m of the club's initial parachute payments will be ring-fenced to pay off some of the larger football creditors within nine to 12 months, while salaries will be slashed by up to three-quarters with a annual budget in the Championship of no more than £10m. "We'll make new offers to a number of out-of-contract players on wages we can afford but whether they will want to take up the offer, I can't say," said Andronikou, who also revealed that Portsmouth will persist, having reached the Cup final, in applying for a Uefa licence to play in the Europa League.

The FA and Premier League have said they are wasting their time but Andronikou said: "We have a responsibility to act in the best interest of the creditors. Getting the club into Europe makes the club more attractive to a purchaser."

Meanwhile, it emerged that the Premier League may have struck a secret deal to partially bail out Pompey, though details are being kept under wraps. Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has shown little sympathy for Portsmouth since they were docked nine points but it is now understood some kind of deal might have been struck.

"We are under an information embargo," Andronikou said. "All I can say is that we have made an agreement with the Premier League that effectively secures the future of the club going forward."

Hong Kong businessman Balram Chainrai, the club's fourth owner in a year, will remain in charge pending the outcome of the Company Voluntary Agreement agreed on Thursday. The meeting had to be adjourned while a compromise was reached to replace one of the members with a local trader in order to ensure smaller creditors were fairly represented. Details of the CVA, a repayment deal designed to take the club out of administration, will be circulated to creditors within the next 10 days.

Administrators have offered a minimum 20p in the pound over five years, which they hope will put the club on a safer financial footing and attract investment. For all the criticism of his tenure, as a gesture to smaller trade creditors Chainrai has offered to pay in full charities and trusts who lost money as well as those owed under £2,500. Whether he remains in charge long term is unlikely. "The club is for sale and has been for months," said Andronikou.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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