Portsmouth hope to avoid points deduction
Friday 26 February 2010
Portsmouth administrator Andrew Andronikou is hoping the Premier League will not impose the nine-point penalty on the club that will just about guarantee relegation to the Coca-Cola Championship.
The club went into administration this morning with debts of £70million and Andronikou, an insolvency practitioner from UHY Hacker Young, now has the job of assessing the extent of the damage along with colleague Peter Kubik.
Any club that goes into administration is given an automatic points penalty with Pompey set to lose nine of their 16 points under Premier League rules.
However, Andronikou is going to ask the Premier League not to impose such a punishment on the south coast club.
He told Sky Sports News: "I understand everyone is taking it for granted we are going to be docked the nine points. It is something I need to broach with the Premier League and then look to start talking about parachute payments.
"I need that to be confirmed during the course of the week.
"We need to go through the formal process. I think it's early days to be talking about deducting the nine points.
"It is the rule at the moment but we are the first Premier League club to have gone into administration so let's just test the rule."
Asked whether he would ask them not to dock the points, Andronikou answered: "It could be on the agenda.
"I can imagine they will be very firm in their decision."
Andronikou also revealed he believed the club might be able to sell players outside the regular transfer window in order to start raising money.
"I am hoping the transfer window will be open for us," he added.
"It's been indicated to me I might be able to - on terms - so let's just leave it that way.
"I don't want to prejudice the club's wishes by discussing that further without giving the courtesy of having that discussion with the Premier League."
At an earlier press conference, Andronikou said in a statement: "We are looking to immediately address the significant monthly tax burden of the club by implementing a swift cost rationalisation programme.
"Every aspect of the club's overheads will be reviewed and scrutinised. Our aim is to maximise all revenues and to eradicate all unnecessary costs.
"We have many difficult decisions to make in next few days. I promise you we will save your club and take you forward."
Andronikou also believes it will be necessary to sell "one or two" players, although the club would need special dispensation from FIFA to do this outside of a transfer window period.
He also said manager Avram Grant had promised he would stay until the end of the season.
Andronikou will continue discussions with parties interested in investing in taking over the club, but will demand "proof of funds up front" and insists they must satisfy the Premier League's 'fit and proper person' requirement.
Andronikou admitted he would be making massive cuts at the club.
"I will be cutting to the bone, I can assure you," he said. "Restructuring starts today. There will be significant cost cuts at all levels. We have a huge job to deal with.
"I need to generate working capital in the next two months, we will have to sell one or two players but I am not looking to sell players on a fire-sale basis.
"We are asking the Premier League for their assistance, this is very new for them. There will be a meeting with the Premier League next Thursday where I will make a presentation."
Asked about the decision of chief executive Peter Storrie to tender his resignation, Andronikou added: "His position has become untenable, I understand he is in a very difficult position but my main priority is the football club.
"From what I've seen I have every confidence Pompey will fulfil its fixture list and will be playing football next year."
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