RELEGATION to League One will cost Pompey around £1m in television money – but may make the club an attractive proposition for investors.
Pompey’s joint-administrator Trevor Birch, of accountancy firm PKF, says the effect of dropping down a league will be ‘neutral’ – despite losing out of around £1.2m in TV revenue.
He said an interested party may view relegation positively because it gives them ‘a chance to clear the decks’.
He added cost reductions are being worked on in preparation for League One and there will be attempts to move on players on high wages.
Players could also be asked to take a ‘big reduction’ in their wages.
This season, teams in the Championship received a Basic Award Payment – money drawn from a £33m pool held by the Football League using television funds – of £2.3m, while teams in League One only received £650,000.
However, relegation to League One will mean Pompey are in line for even less next season after a smaller TV deal was struck for the 2012/13 year.
The Football League could not reveal how much teams are entitled to next season as the final totals have yet to be set.
But football finance expert Dr John Beech, head of sport and tourism at Coventry University and lifelong Pompey fan, said relegation is the lesser of two problems facing the club.
He said the club would have to start charging less for tickets and face a drop in attendances.
He said: ‘Relegation would mean a scaling-down of financial operations.
‘What would be significant for any club would be a clause in player contracts, so players would be on a League One wage rather than a Championship one. But my understanding is some players are on Premier League wages, which would be totally unsustainable.
‘With relegation you assume that nothing happens in the time before the start of next season, but Pompey have a big issue at the moment, and that’s Trevor Birch finding new owners.’
Dr Beech added he backs the Pompey Supporters’ Trust’s bid to take over the club through its share scheme, but admits liquidation is a distinct possibility.
Professor Tony Arnold, chairman of accounting and business history at the University of Leicester, believes Pompey’s loyal fan base could help the club bounce back if relegated.
He said: ‘I think Pompey would have a better cash flow than teams with crowds of 7,000.
‘There are plenty of clubs that have gone down and bounced back again. Both Sheffield clubs went into League One and they are second and third. It doesn’t seem like a desperate situation with the support.’
Scott Mclachlan, spokesman for the Pompey Supporters’ Trust, said: ‘It’s sad. From the trust to buy the club it doesn’t make a lot of difference.
‘The debt is still the same and it doesn’t matter whether we stay in the Championship or not.
‘The same problems face us. But it has been another terrible season that has sapped everyone’s strength.
‘There have been some highlights football-wise.
‘The fact is, liquidation is still possible in a few weeks time unless someone comes in and buys it, relegation makes no difference.’