Judges rejects Andronikou’s firm as Pompey administrators

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A High Court judge today refused to allow Andrew Andronikou’s firm to act as Pompey’s administrators.

Mr Justice Alastair Norris ruled UHY Hacker Young will not be in charge.

The decision came despite Balram Chainrai’s firm Portpn Ltd offering £500,000 to the club if Mr Andronikou or another administrator it approves of was appointed.

The court heard Portpn was not prepared to hand over the cash purely to assist Pompey.

But Mr Justice Norris appointed corporate recovery specialists PKF as administrators, headed up by partners Trevor Birch and Bryan Jackson.

Mr Birch is an ex-professional footballer and former chief executive of five football clubs and Mr Jackson has acted as administrator for four Scottish football clubs.

The appointment of PKF comes after Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs challenged the appointment of UHY Hacker Young on the grounds that it would be a conflict of interests and would not result in the best deal for Portsmouth taxpayers.

Catherine Giraud, acting on behalf of HMRC, told the hearing: ‘There is very substantial experience and relevant experience of running a football club and administration on the part of Mr Birch and being an administrator of four Scottish football clubs in relation to Mr Jackson.’

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt has been working with some of the club’s creditors to oppose the appointment of UHY Hacker Young and had written to HMRC in a bid to secure support.

Portsmouth City Council sent a letter to the High Court calling for new administrators to be appointed.

UHY Hacker Young was in charge when Pompey last entered administration two years ago and are dealing with the current administration of Pompey’s parent company Convers Sports Initiatives.

Mr Andronikou was the preferred administrator - which sparked alarm among Pompey fans.

Entering administration means a deduction of up to 20 points for Pompey as they enter administration for the second time in two years.

But the move has stopped HMRC’s 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.

HMRC neither supported or opposed Pompey’s bid to 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.