Portsmouth Europa League hopes rejected

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The Independent Online

Portsmouth will not be permitted to play in the Europa League next season, the Football Association and Premier League have told the club.

Portsmouth would have qualified to play in Europe next season after reaching the FA Cup final against Chelsea - who will be in the Champions League - but the club's administrators have been told that any late application for a UEFA club licence will not be considered due to the financial problems.

A joint statement from the FA and Premier League said: "The FA and Premier League have confirmed to the administrators of Portsmouth Football Club that they shall not consider any late application for granting of a UEFA Club Licence for the 2010-11 season."

The decision means that the team who finish seventh in the Premier League - currently Liverpool - would play in the Europa League instead.

UEFA had said Portsmouth could submit a late application before May 31 but the Premier League and the FA believe Portsmouth's financial situation - debts total £119million - is so bad that they would not meet any of the criteria.

The administrators do not expect the club to go in to a company voluntary agreement (CVA) until June 6, while the fact that so much money is owed to clubs, other football creditors and Her Majesty's Customs and Revenues.

There was also a strong feeling at the FA and the Premier League that one of the reasons the UEFA club licence was set up was to try to prevent clubs being run as badly as Portsmouth have been.

Portsmouth's administrator Andrew Andronikou had been confident that he could make a case for the club to be given the licence and said the ruling was unfair on Pompey fans.Andronikou told Press Association Sport: "We have spent a long time going through all the necessary steps and we had hoped to make an application next week.

"We felt that we would do our bit and that it would be up to the FA and the Premier League to do theirs."It's wrong for the fans that they should not be allowed to support their club in Europe next season."

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