Pompey go into administration

Pompey have succeeded in their bid to go into administration
Pompey have succeeded in their bid to go into administration
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Pompey have succeeded in their bid to go into administration.

The club’s application was today accepted at a hearing in the Chancery division of London’s High Court.

It means a deduction of up to 20 points for Pompey as they enter administration for the second time in two years. They will definitely lose 10 points as a result and it will be down to the Football League to determine a further points punishment.

There was no immediate comment from the League after the ruling today.

But the move has stopped Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ winding-up petition over unpaid tax - which was due to be heard at the High Court on Monday - in its tracks.

The club now owes about £2m to the revenue.

Mr Justice Alastair Norris ruled that Pompey can go into administration.

The club can continue playing football and trading as long as the administrator has funds available to pay ongoing running costs.

Money in the club’s frozen bank account will now be available as an asset which can be used to pay wages.

The account contains £1m advanced to the club by the Premier League last Friday as part of an early parachute payment.

Receipts from the Chelsea FA Cup game and £295,000 from the sale of Ryan Williams are also included in the balance.

The judge was expected to rule later on who would be the administrators.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt and the city council led objections to UHY Hacker Young, who had been proposed by the club, saying there would be a conflict of interest, as the firm are administrators for Pompey’s parent company CSI.

HMRC proposed in court that the administrators should be Trevor Birch and Brian Jackson, of PKF, who they said had extensive experience of administration at football clubs in England and Scotland.

During Pompey’s court hearing today, the lawyer for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs asked the court to appoint PKF as administrators.

The News understands that HMRC has been approached by a number of creditors, as well as Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, in a bid to stop UHY Hacker Young being appointed.

UHY oversaw Pompey’s last administration, and are working on the administration of the club’s parent company, Convers Sports Initiatives.

HMRC, Ms Mordaunt, Portsmouth City Council and creditors believe that, as this is the second time in two years that the club has gone into administration, another firm should take the helm.

PKF have a track record in football insolvency.

PKF was the administrator for Oldham, Motherwell and Clydebank.

It also works with the senior management of Celtic and Fulham, providing accounting, auditing and tax services.

It also worked with Tottenham Hotspur when the club was attempting to secure the Olympic stadium in London as its new home ground.

And the firm already knows Portsmouth. It has worked with the University of Portsmouth on a report on fraud in football, urging clubs to put procedures in place to safeguard their finances.

Scott Mclachlan, of the Pompey Supporters Trust, said after the case: ‘We are very relieved that Administration has been granted by Justice Norris today and the next stage will be to work with the Administrator, whoever is appointed, to open discussions on a community buy-out. As Penny Mordaunt said in her letter to HMRC any appointed Administrator should be looking to get the best deal for all the creditors and should engage civilly with every party that wishes to speak to them.’