BBC BLOGS - Matt Slater
« Previous | Main | Next »

Credit where it's due at Portsmouth

Post categories:

Matt Slater | 08:20 UK time, Thursday, 6 May 2010

The more observant amongst you will have noticed there is a very important vote, of historic importance, on Thursday.

After months of speculation, weeks of debate and days of frenzied, last-minute number-crunching, the wait is finally over: Portsmouth's creditors will gather at Fratton Park to decide what happens next to the first Premier League club to enter administration.

I promise, that's it for General Election references.

That's the thing about polling day - it's almost politics-free and therefore a bad day to bury bad news. This makes me think Portsmouth's administrator Andrew Andronikou (the only accountant in the country who signs autographs) isn't quite as media savvy as he imagines he is.

Andrew AndronikouAndrew Andronikou revealed the club had debts of almost £120m. Photo: PA.

So having established the fact that Thursday's creditors' meeting will not go unnoticed, I should probably explain who will be at this meeting, what they will be deciding and how I got in.

The first thing to say is, apart from me, a BBC colleague and Andronikou, I cannot say for sure at this stage (shortly before midnight on Wednesday) who else will show up in Pompey's Victory Lounge.

It might be a bad day to bury bad news but it is still a long way to come for the majority on the invite list, particularly as most of them will know they have no chance of influencing the process or of seeing anything like what they are owed by the FA Cup finalists.

The club has 400 or so "trade creditors": butchers, bakers, candlestick-makers, small charities, local schools, you know, everyday firms and people who can ill afford to be stiffed for services supplied in good faith.

The good news for this disparate group is they are "only" owed £4.4m of a debt mountain that now surpasses £120m. Many of the firms I have spoken to in recent weeks have already written off their Pompey losses (which doesn't mean it didn't hurt, though).

The bad news is that decisions on insolvency matters are not made on the one man, one vote principle. They are made by block votes, proportionate to the amounts owed.

So a company like Auto Windscreens may well be big enough to look after itself in a scrap over an unpaid bill but it is unlikely to bother for £52.18, a sum that equates to 0.0000005% of the vote in Pompey's poll.

I'm sure a few trade creditors will come along out of curiosity or because they are Portsmouth fans and have a few questions they would like answered ("Can we have our club back?") but far more likely to attend are those owed serious amounts of money.

Foremost among this group are the quartet of geniuses who have owned this much-loved club at some point this season: step forward (or send your representatives), Sacha Gaydamak, Sulaiman Al-Fahim, Ali Al-Faraj and the man in possession of the club when the music stopped, Balram Chainrai.

Much has been said and written about the relative merits of their regimes so I will spend no more time on doing it again here.

Suffice it to say they are owed more than £50m between them and will, therefore, have a big say in what happens next.

The debts claimed by Gaydamak, Al-Fahim and Al-Faraj are all unsecured, which means they are not backed by tangible assets. This puts them in the same bracket as the unfortunate trade creditors - ie at the back of the queue for whatever pay-out Andronikou can manufacture from Pompey's forthcoming parachute payments and player clear-out.

Ahead of them in this queue will be Chainrai, who secured his loans against the club and the stadium, and all football-related creditors. The former will have UK company law to thank for getting his money back in full, while the latter group is backed by football's increasingly hard-to-justify insolvency rules.

The prospect of Chelsea or Spurs, or a host of millionaire players and former players, being paid in full while others have to accept a fraction of what they are owed is not a healthy one for the game. It also tarnishes that FA Cup fairytale a tad.

Returning to the nitty-gritty of Thursday's meeting, it is important to highlight just how important Gaydamak remains. Sympathy is in short supply for the former owner but he is the most important of the club's unsecured creditors as his £31.5m translates into more than a third of the voting rights.

This brings us to what will be decided on Thursday. The creditors will not, as I have heard in some quarters, be voting on a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA). Not yet, anyway.

What the creditors are being asked for now is a mandate for Andronikou, and his colleagues at UHY Hacker Young, to draft a CVA proposal. Or more accurately, proceed with the CVA proposal they have already started on.

This CVA, the insolvency procedure by which Pompey will emerge from the doldrums of administration, will then be sent to the creditors for their perusal and another meeting will be called later this month, or early next month, to vote yea or nay on its details. The key one being the amount in the pound each unsecured creditor can expect to receive over the next five years or so.

So it's a green light Andronikou wants on Thursday, the big referendum on his preferred route comes later. Given the fact a CVA needs the support of 75% of the unsecured creditors, it is easy to see Gaydamak's significance.

Some creditors might wonder why this mandate stage is necessary at all, particularly when they read that administration is costing the club nearly £180,000 a month in fees - money that could be going on debt repayment. Wouldn't it make more sense to get the draft CVA out there (after all, everybody knows it's coming) and then call one meeting to vote on it, not two?

The answer to this is yes and no. It would be cheaper and quicker to proceed straight to a vote on the CVA, which everybody is expecting to offer between 20-25p in the pound, but there is some logic to doing this in two stages.

By getting approval for the principle of a CVA first, Andronikou is signalling the direction he is taking the club but also guarding himself against any possible criticism or legal action should his CVA proposal be blocked.

This seems unlikely now, as the only likely blocker in this case is Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The taxman is owed £17.1m by Portsmouth and can usually be counted upon to vote against any agreement, a CVA for example, that will result in the public purse losing out.

But HMRC's ability to block a Pompey CVA has disappeared in recent weeks as the overall debt total has risen, reducing the taxman's share of the votes. It remains to be seen if this apparent coincidence will neutralise HMRC's sting but if Gaydamak's votes came back into play, for whatever reason, Andronikou will be pleased he took the time to ask for permission to draw up a CVA that may get rejected.

I know I promised I would reveal how I got a ticket to this particular party but there's only so much insolvency chat any sane person can take after midnight so I'm going to save that story for Thursday's blog from Fratton Park.

In the meantime, I will endeavour to tweet updates and anecdotes from the voting booth, so please let me know if there is anything you want in particular. Just don't ask me for Andronikou's autograph.

As well as my blogs, you can follow me when I'm out and about at http://twitter.com/bbc_matt

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Bottom line, is the main reason for this CVA to keep a professional football club in Portsmouth or make sure Chainrai gets his money back?

    (money that was loaned to the club, linked to its assets and may not have even been Chainrai's in the first place??)

    Also, I think it's fair to speculate that Gaydemak Jnr will do whatever Gaydemak Snr tells him to do.

    Sadly for Pompey fans, you suspect there are yet more horror stories to come out of the club before all this is over.

  • Comment number 2.

    I am very curious as to the validity of the debts claimed by a number of the unsavoury individuals involved in the ownership of Portsmouth City Football Club, both in terms of the security claimed, the date at which the security was registered and whether the sums owed are correct. I am sure that HMRC will have the same concerns and take an interest in the cashflow in and out of the Fuglers client account, apparently operated by a convicted fraudster, on behalf of this rotten football club.
    As has been pointed out by Matt, the diminishing proportion of the debt accountable to HMRC since the statement of affairs looks like a real coincidence. I hope a court has the opportunity to investigate this "coincidence". I am sure that the administrator would also like to put to rest any suspicions of money-laundering and deliberate fraud against the public purse.

  • Comment number 3.

    @Johnny M - you are rightly concerned, this method of "cashing in" has hit several clubs. A sitting chairman will say that he's happy to sell the club for 1 pound but he needs to be repaid what he is owed by the club. That sounds fair enough (more than fair, he's selling an asset for 1 pound) but then the paperwork regarding the debts is hard to track down and the existing owner of a business has ample opportunity to pad the accounts with expenses and costs that he has "covered". It is amazing what you can cook up with a photocopier and a creative approach to book-keeping.

  • Comment number 4.

    Matt, interesting stuff as usual. Wondering if you could enlighten me on a couple of points. 1. Has the difference in debts now being quoted to that quoted in the court hearing been clarified? It seems to have jumped massively and conincidently reduced HMRC's proportion to well below the magic 25%. Were Al Faraj and Al Fahim quoted as being owed £5m each back then? 2. Can the footballers vote on the CVA (as they are legally unsecured creditors) even though they get paid in full?

    Cheers
    Interested Saints fan and Portsmouth resident!

  • Comment number 5.

    As a Pompey fan I am disguested with the level of debt, people lining their own pockets and nothing has been done about the development of the stadium and training facilites.

    It seems quite untennable that these people can get away with ruining a club making money - surely the directors should be facing a prison sentance!!

  • Comment number 6.

    @Not-singing-anymore. The difference is that, since December 24th, when the winding up petition was advertised in the London Gazette against Portsmouth City Football Club Ltd., there are a number of legal restrictions against attempting to change or improve a creditors position. I expect a legal challenge against a number of the debts, the burden of proof of which, falls on the creditor.

    It is interesting to note that the latest charge against the company was placed by Mark Jacob, a Portsmouth director and lawyer with Fuglers, on behalf of a company controlled by Balram Chanrai, Portpin.

    Jacob has since been fired by Fuglers...

  • Comment number 7.

    I know this is going to cause trouble but why should "unsecured" football creditors come in front of the local cleaner, baker and caterer?

    Why should the clubs owed money & footballers et al get all their money and Joe Public get only 20 to 25p in the pound?

    I hope that the HMRC push this and if necessary take this to the courts to fight this apparent iniquity.

    There is something very rotten here and it needs to be found out.

  • Comment number 8.

    So now the debt figure is £138m !!

    Unbelievable.

    I mean, really, unbelievable, how can they have got the figures so wrong? That alone smacks of fraud.

    Surely the likes of Chanrai and Gaydemak have to legally PROVE they are owed the amounts they claim, as much as the small creditors do?

    Something really stinks.

  • Comment number 9.

    ChocolateBoxKid something really stinks is a bit of an understatement!

    Everything that has happened off the pitch at Fratton Park is truly horrific.

    If the owners and CEO are allowed to run a company in this way and simply walk away from it there is something terribly wrong with the financial laws of this country. It is incredible that the Premier League have stood back and allowed a club to compete in their league with all of this going on behind the scenes.

    As a Portsmouth fan I hang my head in shame that this has happened at my club. I don't know if we will receive a further points deduction, but if we were sent to the Conference or a league below that I don't think we could complain. We are lucky that businesses that are run in this way are not shut down and banished for ever.

  • Comment number 10.

    I really feel for Portsmouth fans at the moment, it must be a horrible situation to be in. I hope things can get sorted out for them.

    http://the-fa-premier-league.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 11.

    Another horror story, Matt.
    As a Pompey diehard for 55 years, I frankly don't care about anyone associated with the club in a management position, except perhaps Avram Grant. And the predatory droning by the Administrator, who is no doubt going to collect his 400 pounds an hour, is enough to make all old-school Pompey lovers turn in their graves.
    The FA and the Premiership are just as much to blame as the vultures gathering today; it would serve them right if the team and all Pompey supporters stayed away from Wembley and enjoyed a nice little wake at Fratton Park.
    There is the strongest feeling/stench that, the longer this goes on, the higher the debt will become.
    Stop the rot. Now.

  • Comment number 12.

    Leeds had a 75% acceptance (just) for their CVA but HMRC managed to scupper the deal by threatening a legal challenge which would delay things so long as to make it impossible to contunue. However you say "HMRC's ability to block a Pompey CVA has disappeared in recent weeks". What is the difference between the two cases.

  • Comment number 13.

    @Ian_the_chopper I believe it is part of the Premier League rules?

  • Comment number 14.

    Hopefully for the Pompey fans this will all be sorted out ASAP but does anyone know what would happen if Portsmouth went out of business over the summer in respect to the league tables?

    Would an extra teams be promoted from each division basically making the play off finals irrelevant as the loser could still go up?

  • Comment number 15.

    what do Pompey fans think of Harry Redknapp?

    he assembled a great side but left to manage bottom of the table Spurs just moths after winning the cup and bringing in the likes of Peter Crouch, whilst he has done well did he know what was going on and decide to jump ship, i mean if he wasnt aware of the financial state of the club he could have stayed and in theory guided Pompey to the CL.

    It seems a lot people knew how much trouble Pompey were in but just kept taking the money.

  • Comment number 16.

    Any other type of business what have gone under now. Football clubs should not be any different.

  • Comment number 17.

    Re #7 - Ian_the_chopper
    HMRC challenged the FA's rule on preferential treatment for football creditors' debts when another club was in administration (can't remember which one) and the judge ruled that it was lawful.

  • Comment number 18.

    Ian_the_chopper - the rules were brought in by either the FA or the Premier League, I'm not certain which. It was designed to protect the interests of the members ie other football clubs as before that HMRC were always at the head (or near to it) of the queue. Sad though isn't it. Football clubs who are worth millions will get their money before hard-working local people where the money matters a lot more to them. It's one of the rules that really needs to be looked at I think as it's disgraceful to see groups like the St John's Ambulance service and local schools missing out on money which could make a real difference to them. Yet people like my own club Spurs and good old Sol Campbell with his image rights should get their money in full because they're "footballing debts".

    Shows how much class the Premiership lacks at times doesn't it!

  • Comment number 19.

    The taxman who approved the administration should be sacked right now! We as taxpayers would have been far better off had Pompey been wound up months ago, but now it appears we will not be getting any of the millions we are owed.

    This is disgraceful on the part of Pompey's owners and managers, and incompetent on the part of HMRC. Let's just hope that they finally get their act together and mount successful challenges to the amounts "owed" to the very people who brought the club to its knees.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    20. At 1:22pm on 06 May 2010, kwiniaskagolfer wrote:
    #15, bluedefence:
    Redknapp is just another fly-by-night parasite. Apparently the moderators won't permit a more strident comment.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    He must have known what was going on, he had built a great team and just won the cup, you wouldn’t walk away to manage a bottom of the table club if you hadn’t an inkling of what was going on.

    funny he has never been asked to explain himself

  • Comment number 22.

    20p in the £ is pathetic.

    Why should this club be allowed to continue in existance while it has failed to pay 80% of its debts.

    if anything, it should pay the 20p in the £ over the next few years, but after that it should also be made to pay in full the money it owes.

    Those who managed the club into this position should also ultimately be held responsible and their other or personal/private assets should be wholely part of the debt repayment.

    Debt should be attributed to responsibility of those whos decisions and actions incurred the debts.

    It is NOT right for certain people to have walked away from this over previous years who are themselves mainly responsible for present debt circumstance and consequences.

    If nations peoples can be forced to pay for IMF loans and seperate loans via other banks to businesses and individuals then these people who so appallingly managed this club should also be made responsible in FULL.

  • Comment number 23.

    #15 I think Harry Redknapp knew there was no money left and players would have to be sold. He received a great offer and decided to go. What rankles with a lot of people is Harry came out with all the Pompey til I die stuff and said he would never leave the club. Then as soon as the brown stuff hit the fan he was off. That's just the way life goes.

    Personally I think most people would have left like Harry did. Our situation is so dire I don't think he could have done much. He gave us a few great seasons and its a shame it ended the way it did. I certainly don't begrudge him the success he is having at Spurs.


  • Comment number 24.

    The football preference rule for insolvency was tested in the Wimbledon case, and survived. This was before the Supreme Court was created though, so this ridiculous rule might well be struck down soon. It is wide-open to abuse, for example Spurs somehow managed to be owed a sell-on fee for a player they never bought from Pompey, which would enable them to vote for the CVA.

  • Comment number 25.


    "administrator Andrew Andronikou (the only accountant in the country who signs autographs)".


    Amusing. £350 an hr + VAT, and people wanting your autograph. Sounds good to me.

  • Comment number 26.

    Unbelievable....

    It really rankles with me that Portsmouth have been able to manage their finances in this way, recruiting players and not paying for them. Surely this has given them an unfair advantage over the teams they have played this season?

    I also take issue with the fact that 99% of the media coverage for them reaching the FA Cup final is a positive thing / something for their fans to cheer / overcoming all the odds blah blah blah.......any chance of someone reporting on the fact that Portsmouth should be kicked out of the FA Cup and perhaps relegated another division for this?

    *Blood boiling....

  • Comment number 27.

    So all the other clubs in the premier league payed up front for there players then!!

    While I think it is wrong that we as a club have been allowed by the premier league and FA to get into this state to punish the fans for something outside of there control, which is what you are suggesting is not correct.

    We are in the final because we beat 5 other teams on the way to the final if we are kicked out then who do you put back in Coventry, Southampton, Sunderland oh no you and those like you would like Tottenham reinstated as that would make for a nicer final. The Fa said they had no reason to throw us out so that should be final

  • Comment number 28.

    I find it amusing that a city fan finds the need to criticise Harry Redknapp. I don't see his situation at Pompey as much different to Hughes and Mancini at City.

    The spending on players, both on fees and wages became unrelated to the revenues of the club, the presumption from the City board, and earlier with Abramovich is that this investment will generate higher revenues in future. The problem with Pompey is that each of the owners had the same idea but without the resources to bankroll the investment.

    Redknapp and Hughes both spent huge amounts building teams, the only difference is that city's backers have the financial muscle to keep ploughing in cash until the revenues pick up. I don't think Harry can be blamed for the lack of resources of the various Pompey owners.

  • Comment number 29.

    I am glad that I am not alone in seeing the gross unfairness of the so called football debts at the top of the pile rule.

    One thing that Portsmouth has shown though is that there needs to be a full review of the way that football clubs and their finances are regulated.

  • Comment number 30.

    I hope Qatar Airlines vote against the CVA. Why should they have to settle for the 4-5p being offered...

  • Comment number 31.

    Any football player who takes the full amount they are owed are simply cowards and mercenaries. They should be ashamed if they do. What's 200K to someone like Crouch? It's nothing whereas a few grand to a small company is very important. Baffling rules that the people who earn the most get the most. Simply wrong.

  • Comment number 32.

    Baffling rules that the people who earn the most get the most.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Keep David Cameron's new tax plans out of this!

  • Comment number 33.

    Jesus yet more stupid comments from people linking harry redknapp to this whole affair

    the size of the problems at portsmouth indicate that it's little to do with the manager.

    how is it a football manager's job to ensure that tax is paid on income, and that bob smith the painter gets paid?

    how is it that a club can be sold 3 times in one season yet this is apparently down to the manager?

    how is it the team manager's job to work out all of the gate receipts, advertising, prize money, season ticket sales and other income coming in, and then work out what's going out so that adequate finances are in place for spending on transfers? surely that's the job of accountants, the managing director and board and the owners?!

    I have a question for Matt anyway. How soon could this process all take to be finalised and when is the deadline for a club being in administration to come out of it for the new season so that they don't get a further points deduction?

  • Comment number 34.

    The ruling that football debts paid first is a difficult one, but I understand why it's there.

    There are two potential situations which I could see arising if they got rid of it:

    1. A club (say Man Utd) buys a player from their rivals (say Drogba from Chelsea). They might pay them £50million for him. However, Man Utd then go into administration and only pay Chelsea 10p in the pound, so end up getting him for effectively £5million. Do all this in one season and you'd end up with a lot of players, take the hit of administration and the next year have an incredible side and storm the league. This could hugely distort competition, especially if one club buys a player who plays for a club fighting relegation. They sold him expecting x amount, but only get 10% of that and go down, potentially because they decided to sell that player.

    2. A lower league team sells their best player to a higher division and then gets virtually nothing for him, if only paid back a small percentage. Because of the huge gap in income between divisions, if a Premier League side bought a player from League One in can potentially mean the difference between surviving and not surviving. We can all talk about how the Premier league wouldn't miss the old million here or there, but League One and League Two could go out of business because of it.

  • Comment number 35.

    Another blog clarified what would happen if Portsmouth disappeaer as a club over the summer. There are two main scenarios:

    1. It happens before the fixture list is published. In this case, another team is promoted to take their place in the Championship, and this trickles down (I believe).

    2. It happens after the fixture list is published. In this case, the season starts with 23 teams in the Championship, and Portsmouth games are null results.

    Each scenario has slightly divergent possibilities. eg. In the latter, Portsmouth games could be counted as null, as a win for the opposing team, or simply removed from the calendar, depending on the Football League's decision. Not sure whether it's a discretionary thing or if there are clear guidelines.

  • Comment number 36.

    This is so outrageous on so many levels. So... the club recklessly racking up more and more debt may actually save them from the Revenue (or another creditor) blocking the CVA - as HMRC will be owed a smaller % of the overall debt. Result: HRMC, and therefore the taxpayer - you and me - lose out. That millionaire footballers and clubs are payed before the british taxpayer is simply not right. I question how the Premier League even has the jurisdiction to 'make up' these rules. Does any other industry follow a similar route?
    Not only have Pompey not paid their tax - something we humble punters would never get away with - they've also presumably wittheld the tax from paypackets. So they've "won" twice - deducted the money from payroll, but not passed it on to HMRC. Simply outrageous.
    Of course, I assume that the massive Premier League 'parachute payments' coming down the line over the next four years to the club will be passed on directly to their creditors, big or small? Ummm... I wonder...?

  • Comment number 37.

    @Farslayer - Spurs aren't claiming for a sell-on fee for a player they didn't sign, and there was no 'abuse'. Spurs were negotiating to buy Kaboul and Begovic, and had nearly done a deal for both. Portsmouth urgently needed cash to settle a debt, so Spurs paid for both. Then Begovic didn't sign for them and went to Stoke instead. Spurs paid £1m for a player they didn't receive, so are due that money back.

  • Comment number 38.

    No small business should ever let a large company run up significant arrears; service should be withdrawn as soon as a debt has been defaulted on. The loss of a large contract may be painful, but not nearly as painful as unilaterally fulfilling the contract then having to write it off.

    The average of £11000 owed to each trade creditor suggests that they were not very good at applying this. The attitude you need to take is: "If they think it's reasonable for us to go without payment for a month, we think it's reasonable for them to go without our service."

  • Comment number 39.

    You got that right.

    Credit should be given when it is due, especially to the taxman!

  • Comment number 40.

    FIFA, EUFA and the FA should all introduce rules to ensure that all player transfer fees are paid in full when a club signs a player. This then removes the majority of the need to pay football debts first. Clubs would then have to live within their means.

    From Gaydamak onwards the Pompey board have been criminally negligent in the 'running' of the club. Peter Storrie has a lot to answer to as regards the build up of debt at Portsmouth.

    Harry Redknapp leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the majority of Portsmouth supporters because He walked out not once but twice. Watching players kiss the badge is bad enough when you know they will leave the club for higher wages or more prestige, but when this is a manager who continually spouts off how this is his 'last job in football' or 'no other club other than this club' for him it cuts the supporter to the quick.

    EUFA should take the majority of the blame for wrecking leagues throughout Europe with the money on offer in the Champions League. A club from Eastern Europe getting into the group stages of the CL are virtually gauranteed £13m, even if they lose all their group matches. This amount of money is five times more income than any of their domestic rivals survive on for a year and introduces an unfair advantage to the CL club as it is then able to afford better players on higher wages than the other domestic clubs. An example might be Cyprus or Ukraine.

    Boycotting the Cup final would not make a point against the FA as they have already got the money from ticket sales and if the Portsmouth supporters didn't take their allocation Chelsea would have taken them or the FA would have sold them to the touts or companies to charge the extra for so called 'hospitality' packages.

  • Comment number 41.

    So since PFC first were taken to court by the taxman saying their debts made it insolvent it's debt has more than doubled from 60 to 138Million!

    Maybe the judge shouldn't have been so nice!

    The clubs management has been a discrage and it seems the administrators aren't able to get the debt under control.

    It is highly suspicious that the debt has increased enough to stop the taxman being able to block the CVA though. Have there been instances of this happening before? Or is this a new tactic by the allready over-protected football clubs?

    The playing field needs to be leveled, these rules about football creditors getting paid first need to be challenged - in court if needed - by the taxman. The fact that 100's of local business will take massive hits while one of the worlds richest clubs gets all it's money is a disgrace!

    Oh and the sooner the league bans lone term "finance" deals the better. Platini should finally do somthing usefull at UEFA and simply ban all transfers where all cash is not paid up front, as well as stopping some of this stupidity happening again, it may reduce, or at least contain, the insane increases in transfer fees seen in recent years.

  • Comment number 42.

    Evening all, hope you're well.

    There's been some very, very good comment and insight posted here today and it deserves a better response than I can muster now. Absolutely shattered after late finish/early start/day of insolvency law. I have much to say, though!!!!!

    So I'll blog on what happened today, what's been going on in behind the scenes and what I think will happen next TOMORROW. Honest. Unless I get hooked to Election Night and then you'll have to settle for a few tweets.

    Adieu

  • Comment number 43.

    If from what I can understand in the article that the HMRC is put to the back of the line behind the football creditors then that is a disgrace - taxes are made up of money which does not belong to Portsmouth - it's made up of VAT receipts paid by the fans and PAYE and NI withheld from the players wages - that's scandalous and is different to debts taken on with clubs and banks and suppliers that they later can't pay - they haven't just let themselves down but they've let society down - surely that can't be correct

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    Shouldnt this club be liquadated and removed from the football league system and sent straight to the bottom?? Sorry pompey fans but this is fraud and the fact it is still allowed to be run as a buisness and rack up more debt is a farce.

    I hope this never happens again but you only have to look around at some of the finacial states of prem football clubs to know that portsmouth will only be the first.

  • Comment number 46.

    The level of debt is beyond managable, 138 will probably be 160 after the FA Cup Final. Money gained through player sales and parachute payments will only half the defecit HMRC should be paid first otherwise this will increase with player sales. A 5 year debt management plan = 5 years of downward motion

    Liquidation is better, the fan base is good, ground is secured, club name is secured. In 5 years we could emerge from League 1 as champions with less embarrassment and no debt. All we need is good attendance and the club will run itself!

    The best bit would be that all the fools that got us into this mess will get zip and they can experience what they evaded through fortune of birtha penniless existence.

  • Comment number 47.

    The total debt is now £138m, with HMRC claiming £35m. Some of this may be in arbitrary fines which happen to double its previous claim and give HMRC back its veto on a CVA. HMRC may be indifferent to the possibility that its claim might not stand up in court. First because it doesn't expect anyone to challenge it, and second because if someone does they'll be no CVA in time for next season, which would be a salutary lesson for other football clubs.

  • Comment number 48.

    It is my opinion it is impossible to acrue a 135 odd million debt without criminal intent Those individuals who were directors of the club over the last five years should be held on charges of fraud together with thr owners a a appear befor a court of law to decide on on their guilt or inocents I noticed one of the comments stated that Portsmouth was a rotten Club this I utterly refute but I admit that made be true of all or someof its directors and owners We the fans have for seversl years been seeking the truth about the running of our club
    and been fobed off with lies or silence The FA have stood bye and watched many small businesses loose money and faithful club employees loose their jobs without lifting a hand to help The Fit and Proper Persons saga led the fans bt the nose to beleave that the owners were in a position to fulfil their commitments There must be those who knew the truth What I would like to know is WHO WERE THEY and why were we not told the truth

 

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.