Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pompey on the brink

Portsmouth could go out of business before the end of the season, administrator Trevor Birch revealed.

The Championship club made 33 staff members redundant on Wednesday, including chief executive David Lampitt.
Birch outlined the seriousness of the club’s plight when he addressed fans at Fratton Park.
"It was a purely economic decision that we had to make," Birch said.
"We have a very small amount of money that we have to stretch out for the rest of the season and David and his fellow directors have joined with other redundancies that we have had to make."
2008 FA Cup winners Portsmouth entered administration for the second time in three years last week and fell into the Championship relegation zone after they were docked ten points. Indeed many punters are looking to bet on the Championship suffering a second relegation in three years at the end of the campaign.
Players and staff have not been paid since December and the squad will be asked to defer some of their wages until the end of the season.
Injuries and suspensions have crippled Michael Appleton’s already depleted squad and a transfer embargo has made Appleton’s task all the more difficult.
"The Football League will not let us bring any players in and they don't want us to have a competitive advantage when we still owe clubs money," Birch added.
"If we have less than 14 fit players then they will allow us to bring someone in."
Portsmouth’s troubles have given hope to the likes of Nottingham Forest, Coventry City and Doncaster Rovers at the bottom of the Championship. Pompey face a real fight to stay in the second tier and I would bet on relegation overcoming the south coast club at the end of the season.
The biggest fight of all, though, is to keep the club afloat financially. Portsmouth have come back from the brink before – football fans everywhere will be hoping they can do it again.

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