Portsmouth suffer points deduction

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The Independent Online

The Premier League have confirmed a nine-point deduction for Portsmouth to take place "with immediate effect".

The League's board met this morning to impose the sanction after HM Revenue and Customs yesterday dropped their challenge to the club going into administration.

The deduction virtually guarantees relegation for Portsmouth, whose total drops to just 10 points, 14 behind second-from-bottom Hull.

The Premier League said in a statement: "Following the High Court's decision that Portsmouth FC's administration is valid the Premier League board convened today to apply the League's rules and policies in relation to a member club suffering an event of insolvency.

"As a result Portsmouth FC has been deducted nine points with immediate effect.

"As part of this process the board met with the administrator to agree how we will work together for the remainder of the season to ensure that the club is able fulfil its commitments."

Portsmouth have debts of £65million and administrator Andrew Andronikou was to meet with League officials today to get details of the cash the club will receive between now at the start of next season.

The final tranche of £5million, mostly from TV money, will be made available to the club before the end of the season and a further £16million in the close season as the 'parachute payment' for the now certain relegation.

Portsmouth do have a right of appeal but only for very limited grounds and it is understood the club will not challenge the points deduction.

League rules state: "The only ground upon which a club may appeal is that... the event of insolvency was caused by and resulted directly from circumstances, other than normal business risks, over which it could not reasonably be expected to have had control, and its officials had used all due diligence to avoid the happening of that event."

Portsmouth would find it extremely difficult to prove that anything other than previous spending policies at the club were to blame.

Andronikou, meanwhile, says the investors behind a takeover bid headed by property developer Rob Lloyd will need to reveal their identities to him and the Premier League if they wish to proceed.

The administrator has also demanded proof that the consortium has sufficient funds available.

Andronikou said: "There will have to be more clarity about his backers before the middle of next week.

"I have asked to know who the owners would be. It is part of a bundle of information I need to see. We need the whole picture."

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