Portsmouth to ask for Europa place

By Mike McGrath,Pa
Sunday 23 October 2011 01:59

Portsmouth set to ask the FA whether they can play in Europe next season following their famous win over Tottenham.

Pompey would normally be granted a place in Europe by reaching next month's FA Cup final against Chelsea but they did not apply for a UEFA club licence ahead of the March deadline for English teams to lodge paperwork with the country's governing body.

The club were in administration at the time but are now confident of securing a new owner, while £1.8million of prize money is at stake if they can defeat Chelsea.

They will receive parachute payments following relegation from the Premier League this season and the Europa League would also offer extra income.

"It will be an uphill struggle in terms of making the appeal but nonetheless we will try," said Pompey administrator Andrew Andronikou.

Andronikou confirmed Pompey will be speaking to French club Lens over allowing Aruna Dindane to play in the final without triggering a £4million payment that comes with his 22nd appearance for Pompey.

"Under his contract there was bullet payment after his 22nd appearance, he has played 21 games and we are looking to have a meeting with Lens to negotiate," Andronikou added.

"I'm sure they will see it is in the interest of the club, themselves and the player for there to be a compromise."

Andronikou is also confident Avram Grant will have a full squad to choose from for the showpiece against his former club, despite some of the players having expensive clauses in their contracts that could be triggered.

Before that Pompey face Wigan at the DW Stadium on Wednesday in the Premier League.

"We seem to have everything under control at the moment and will, as usual, put out a strong team against Wigan on Wednesday," Andronikou said on Sky Sports News.

"The issue was regarding FA Cup appearances.

"Now we have another problem, albeit a very welcome one, for the final. I'm sure we'll have a full squad to play against Chelsea in May."

Reaching the FA Cup final has sparked interest from new potential buyers.

"It was such a marvellous occasion and such a wonderful result for the club, and it has already triggered further interest," Andronikou said.

"We had one party who had shown interest, they were hovering, a real significant consortium with sporting interests, and this morning they came to step up their interest."

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