Portsmouth paupers' crackpot plan for survival after going into administration

27 February 2010 04:39
On Friday Portsmouth unveiled their fifth man in charge this season but the barmy ideas didn't stop coming.

Accountant Andrew Andronikou, handed the reins after owner Balram Chainrai confirmed that the club had gone into administration, revealed that he plans to ask the Premier League to let him sell players then borrow them back for the rest of the season but not actually play them in the team.

But at least the insolvency expert who also handled the restructuring of Swindon Town has got one thing right in his search for a sixth man at the helm.

Out of the gloom: Accountant Andrew Andronikou is the man charged with righting the wrongs at Fratton Park

He warned: 'I'm fortunate to inherit a list of interested parties to buy the club, but I will not waste a cup of coffee on anybody unless they can they can show me proof of funds from a triple A style bank.

'I don't care whether they are king or prince of any country of the world as long as they can prove to me they have the funds to do the deal.'

That will be music to the ears of Pompey fans who have seen four owners without the cash to handle their club's astonishing debts, which left them as the first Premier League club to go into administration and now be deducted nine points.

Andronikou revealed that the debts are £82-86million, and promised to cut costs 'to the bone' from next week.

He was also scathing in his attack on the people who have run Portsmouth into the ground, including chief executive Peter Storrie whose position was described by the administrator as untenable and who yesterday announced that he would leave.

Downcast: Pompey goalkeeper David James was at training on the day the club's fate was announced

Andronikou said: 'Obviously this hasn't happened on its own. Whenyou have a monthly payroll of £4-5m, you have got to make damned surethat your revenue streams are significantly higher than £60-70m a year.'

His sale and leaseback plan is aimed at raising £3m-7m in order to pay wages, tax and national insurance commitments.

He will also ask for the nine-point deduction to be lifted, although his bigger priority is that the club can emerge in May or early June with a CVA to avoid a further points deduction in the Championship next season.

It seems likely that the Premier League may now advance the club their relegation parachute payment of £16m in their determination to see Portsmouth fulfill their fixtures.

Andronikou added: 'I promise the supporters that we will save your club and take you forward. We will eradicate all unnecessary costs in the club, from the top to the bottom. We're all governed by money laundering provisions and, if I find something untoward, I have to report it.'

Full-time whistle: Portsmouth fans have been a patient bunch but must now face up to inevitable relegation from the Premier League

Although Portsmouth's players may fear for the future, Brian Laws manager of their opponents today, Burnley is not sympathetic.

Laws says Pompey stars will only truly know the pain of a club going bust when four players have to change in a mini which is what he had to do when Middlesbrough went bust in 1986.

Laws, on Boro's books at the time, said: 'We had no kit. It was like a pub team.'

Football's day of financial shame also included news that League One Southend United's players have not been paid for this month, and League Two Bournemouth have been issued with a winding-up order relating to an unpaid tax bill of £314,000.

Clubs in vote to kick out Chester

Chester City's financial problems ended in expulsion from the Blue Square Premier on Friday.

More than 75 per cent of the other Conference clubs voted to exclude Chester, who failed to put out teams against Wrexham and Forest Green because unpaid players refused to play and could not guarantee their remaining fixtures.

Subject to an appeal, Chester's record, which includes a 25-point deduction for involvency and entering administration, will be wiped.

Second-placed Stevenage will be the biggest losers having beaten Chester twice, increasing Oxford's lead at the top to six points. 

 Administrators take control of Portsmouth and vow to fans: 'We will save your club'As Pompey collapse and Chester kicked out, Stoke announce: We're debt freePortsmouth docked nine points as administration plunges cash-strapped Premier League towards relegationStorrie ends Portsmouth chapter: Chief executive to resign from crisis clubBurnley v PORTSMOUTH: Avram Grant to be without striker Frederic PiquionnePORTSMOUTH FC

Source: Daily_Mail

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