Clouds hang over Portsmouth once again
Portsmouth have slipped back into administration for the second time in two years.
Mr Justice Norris approved an application by directors at a High Court hearing in London after being told that the Championship club owed millions of pounds.
In February 2010, Portsmouth became the first Premier League club to enter administration and were deducted nine points, condemning them to relegation. They have now been docked ten points, and are out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
Convers Sports Initiatives, led by Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov, completed their takeover of the club last June, but entered administration in November with Antonov stepping down as club owner. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs issued Portsmouth with a winding-up petition in January.
On Friday, the High Court appointed PKF as administrators, overlooking Hacker Young, who had previously undertaken the role for Portsmouth. Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs welcomed that decision.
“HMRC is pleased that the court agreed with our view that the creditors of any business have a right to expect that the administrator in these circumstances is completely independent,” a statement from HMRC read.
“HMRC felt strongly that the appointment of Hacker Young as administrators to Portsmouth FC, whilst at the same time being administrators for the parent company CSI and its previous roles with the various Portsmouth Football Clubs, would present issues of conflict.
“This is why we suggested the appointment of PKF whose knowledge of the football industry and lack of previous connections to Portsmouth FC should reassure creditors.”
The judge heard that the club had an unpaid tax bill of about £2 million and owed about the same to other creditors.
He said he thought that creditors would get a better deal if the club was placed into administration rather than liquidated.
But outside court accountant Trevor Birch, whose team will manage administration, said he hoped that a new owner could be found and urged fans to “keep the faith”.