Lampitt says administration is only way to save Pompey

David Lampitt in the Blackpool directors box at the weekend
David Lampitt in the Blackpool directors box at the weekend
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David Lampitt has insisted administration is the only way to save Pompey as the club once more totters on the brink.

Blues fans yet again are fearing for their club’s future with debts of around £46.5m hanging around its neck.

Pompey, who will be deducted 10 points, have now asked to enter administration for the second time in two years.

Mr Lampitt submitted an order to the court yesterday afternoon for administration to be granted.

This will be heard on Friday, February 17.

Success would prompt a delay in a winding-up petition issued by HMRC scheduled to be heard on February 20 over £1.9m of unpaid tax, although HMRC could itself go to court and try to prove the administration process is an abuse.

Going into administration would allow the club’s bank account, which is believed to contain £2.5m, to be unfrozen.

Accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young – who employ Andrew Andronikou and Peter Kubik, joint-adminstrators of the club’s parent company Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI), which collapsed last year – is set to be the administrator.

UHY was the administrator when Pompey last went into administration on February 26, 2010.

Following the collapse of CSI, Mr Lampitt is adamant yesterday’s decision is the right one.

He said: ‘An application has been submitted by the directors for an administration order to be granted.

‘That is something the court then considers and determines whether or not to allow.

‘I believe it will be granted and it should be granted.

‘We have got to make it clear to the court this is the right course of action.

‘It has to be in the best interests of the creditors that the company goes into administration.

‘After all, it will provide a better return for creditors rather than winding up the company.

‘If the court grants it there will be an official handing over to the court and the preferred administrator will oversee matters.

‘Granting the order will take the club through to hopefully find a buyer.’

Controversially, Mr Andronikou is the preferred administrator, a move which has alarmed supporters.

Mr Lampitt insists it was the decision of the current board, which also contains chief financial officer John Redgate.

However, crucially, it is understood a secured creditor, in this case former owner Balram Chainrai, has the final say in the choice of any administrator, although other creditors could oppose such an appointment

Mr Lampitt added: ‘The directors of the football club have taken the decision.

‘They (UHY Hacker Young) are the people we have included on the application and it is up to the court to decide whether to accept that.’

At present, Pompey’s frozen bank account contains £1m as part of an early parachute payment.

The Premier League forwarded early the monies – which were scheduled for March – on Friday, yet at present they cannot be touched.

League sources say the advancement has not been made specifically to ease the club’s financial difficulties.

It is understood the Premier League has advanced some payments to all its clubs, including those receiving parachute payments such as Pompey, who were relegated from the Premier League in 2010.

Also included in the account’s £2.5m are receipts from the Chelsea FA Cup match and the £295,000 from the sale of Ryan Williams.

However, Mr Lampitt insists Pompey have never received the wage contribution Mr Chainrai claimed to have made during a recent interview.

He added: ‘I can say no such money has been received by Portsmouth Football Club.’