Portsmouth given permission to sell players

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The Independent Football

Portsmouth received a much-needed boost today with the news the Premier League will allow the club to sell players immediately.

Pompey appealed to the Premier League last month to be allowed to sell players outside the transfer window in a bid to ease their financial troubles but that was rejected.

However, following a board meeting last week where Portsmouth's nine-point penalty for going into administration was confirmed, the Premier League have decided to grant them permission to make sales in certain circumstances.

A Premier League statement today read: "The Premier League board meeting that convened last week to consider the administration of Portsmouth FC dealt with a number of matters beyond just the application of the sporting sanction (deduction of nine points).

"In accordance with Premier League rules, postponement of the suspension of Portsmouth FC as a member club was conditional on a number of undertakings being given by the administrators.

"These have now been received to the satisfaction of the board and therefore it has decided to allow Portsmouth FC to make player sales under the following circumstances:

1. Players may be sold to other Premier League clubs but may not play first-team football for the new club before the end of the season.

2. Players may be sold to a Football League or foreign club, subject to FIFA's approval.

3. Portsmouth FC may enter into an agreement with another Premier League, Football League or foreign club that a player will be transferred to that other club in the summer."

Portsmouth confirmed on February 26 they had gone into administration and they were deducted nine points last week, meaning relegation is all but inevitable, with last weekend's victory over Hull leaving them 14 points adrift of safety with only eight games remaining.

Going into administration meant the club avoided a winding-up order from HM Revenue and Customs and administrator Andrew Andronikou revealed earlier this month he was receiving "enquiries on a daily basis" regarding a takeover.

Player sales would enable Pompey to reduce their considerable debts, but Andronikou stressed today there is no immediate need to cash in on that option, particularly given the income generated by Avram Grant's side's run to the FA Cup semi-finals.

He told Sky Sports News: "This has effectively given us an option if we need it but at this moment I want to emphasise we're not necessarily going to sell players.

"At the moment we don't necessarily need (the money from sales). We're in a semi-final, which we're looking forward to, and that's obviously given us working capital to play with.

"And I've always said, we've had means within the club. So it's a window that's open to us."

Balram Chainrai became the club's latest owner in February after the ill-fated reigns of Sulaiman Al Fahim and Ali Al Faraj.

Involved principally as a creditor, though, Chainrai was a reluctant owner and it was widely expected the club would come out of administration only when a takeover was completed.

However, Andronikou, who has had to widespread cuts, revealed today Chainrai could stay involved.

"We're in discussion with a number of parties but we're not any nearer to doing a deal," he told Sky Sports News. "The takeover is an option but there's still a possibility the existing owners will want to stay in."

Andronikou, meanwhile, insists the club are on track to come out of administration as soon as possible.

"It's a given fact that we will end the season and now we're working on remodelling for next year," he said.

"We're already working on the Company Voluntary Arrangement to exit administration and everything's going according to plan. Within four to five weeks there should be further information coming out of the club."