Portsmouth likely to close after deal collapses
London: English Championship (second division) club Portsmouth are likely to go out of business after a deal to remove them from administration was scuppered on Friday, the club said in a statement.
Portsmouth, who were relegated from the Premier League and reached the FA Cup final last season after a turbulent period financially, said the administrators “are unable to support the continued trading of the club”.
Portsmouth said a deal to exit administration had been agreed by the new owners, the administrators, the Football League and the creditors but was then made “impossible to complete” by key creditor Alexandre ‘Sacha’ Gaydamak.
However, Portsmouth’s administrator Andrew Andronikou said on Friday he still hoped to reach a deal.
Portsmouth said Gaydamak had been offered full payment for the secured part of his debt “in accordance with the financial plan approved by the Football League”.
However, the club added that he “has demanded a very significant up front cash payment in order to allow the deal to proceed by releasing his security.”
“All other parties had managed to reach agreement,” read the club statement.
“This has now been undermined by the self-interested actions of one individual. Mr Gaydamak has provided confirmation several times that terms were agreed. However, he has continually changed his position in an attempt to exploit the goodwill of the other parties to the transaction.”
The statement continued: “His earlier comments when the club went into administration about doing everything possible to save the club’s future do not appear to reflect his current actions.”
Gaydamak, who owned Portsmouth between 2006 and 2009 and celebrated an FA Cup triumph in 2008, sold the south-coast club to Sulaiman Al Fahim after which it changed hands several times.
In February, the club went into administration and its debts have since risen to about 120 million pounds ($188.4 million). Their most recent attempt to exit administration was vetoed by the Football League in October.
Despite Friday’s gloomy statement, Portsmouth administrator Andronikou told Sky Sports News a decision on the club’s future would have to be made by Monday or Tuesday next week but he would be seeking a resolution before then.
“I need to have the other party (Gaydamak) around the table on Sunday to have this matter resolved,” he said.
“We are in a desperate position... We can’t just continuously ignore the matter that this club needs to exit administration as soon as possible.”
After a poor start to the current campaign, Portsmouth have won four of their last five league matches and sit 15th in the 24-team standings after 12 games.