Pompey fears over points deduction next season

Guy Whittingham's Pompey may not be deducted 10 points this season   Picture: Joe Pepler
Guy Whittingham's Pompey may not be deducted 10 points this season Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey celebrate their second goal at Fleetwood. Picture: Mark Robinson

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Fears are growing that Pompey’s points deduction will be carried into next season.

Last July, the Football League ruled the Blues would be issued with a 10-point penalty relating to an unsatisfactory first Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

Earmarked for the current campaign, it is to be enforced once the Football League recognise Pompey have come out of administration.

However, the Blues are running out of time for that to happen.

The court case between administrators PKF and Portpin over Fratton Park’s valuation – deemed as the final step to Pompey exiting administration – has now been fixed for April 10 or 11.

By the time of the hearing – two-and-a-half weeks before the final match of the season – the relegation fate from League One for Guy Whittingham’s side is likely to have been decided.

And that will see pressure on Football League chiefs from the other 71 clubs to apply the deduction the following campaign.

The News understands the League are conscious that taking points away from an already-relegated club may not be perceived as a punishment.

They will be firmly under the microscope over a scenario which represents the first of its kind.

And with little sympathy in the game from rival clubs for Pompey’s plight, there remains political pressure.

Concern over whether Pompey may start League Two next term on minus-10 also exists in Pompey Supporters’ Trust circles.

Ultimately, an eight-man Football League board will decide the outcome once the club comes out of administration.

Until then, League chiefs have declined to comment on the Blues’ situation.

It means the issue of when the points deduction will be made remains unclear.

As a result, the Trust – Pompey’s prospective owners – have called for clarity from the League.

Trust spokesman Colin Farmery said: ‘It is a discretionary punishment and, as always, is up to the Football League.

‘We certainly feel that natural justice dictates the points should come off this season – but at the moment there are no answers.

‘You wouldn’t want to be starting a League Two campaign with minus-10 points and it is for the League to make clear what the position is. Clarity is always helpful in any situation and if they could give a clear steer one way or any other, it would be beneficial to all concerned – and that includes clubs in the competition.

‘It would make a lot of sense if they could make this clear.’

Pompey must also exit administration by the end of the season to earn their ‘golden share’ – which is membership to the League.

Failure to do so will see them forced to apply to play in the Blue Square Bet Conference next season.

That deadline remains vague, with the League unwilling to clarify when contacted by The News.

However, the Blues’ last match is at Shrewsbury on April 27 – just 17 days after the valuation hearing is likely to start.