Portsmouth out of administration and deducted 10 points

Portsmouth's 10-point deduction will be imposed this season, after coming out of administration on Friday.

The club, now owned by the Pompey Supporters' Trust (PST) had been in administration since 17 February 2012 and were close to being liquidated.

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I would like to pay tribute to Portsmouth supporters for giving their financial backing to the Trust's rescue plan and for turning out in force throughout the administration as it has kept the club in business

Greg Clarke Football League chairman

But an out-of-court settlement between the former owners and administrators for ownership of Fratton Park allowed a takeover to be completed.

They had already been relegated from League One.

It was speculated Portsmouth's points deduction would be carried into next season but the Football League announced on Saturday the punishment would come into effect straight away.

As well as the 10-point deduction the league have also imposed a number of conditions on the club such as restrictions on playing budgets, future borrowing and loan repayments for the next five seasons.

"I would like to welcome the Pompey Supporters' Trust to the Football League and pay tribute to their efforts to save their club," said Football League chairman Greg Clarke.

"They have galvanised the Club's fans and the City of Portsmouth behind their cause and ensured that it continues to have a professional football club.

"However, the hard work is only just beginning and we will continue working with the new owners to help them establish a sustainable future for Portsmouth Football Club, so that it can put its long running financial troubles behind it for good.

"This has been an extremely challenging situation for the Football League, given the level of debt, the length of the administration and the issues surrounding the ownership of Fratton Park. I take my hat off to everyone involved, as it has taken significant amounts of hard work, clear thinking and resolve to achieve this outcome.

"Finally, I would like to pay tribute to Portsmouth supporters for giving their financial backing to the Trust's rescue plan and for turning out in force throughout the administration as it has kept the club in business. Hopefully, this marks the start of a better future."

In the time that Pompey have been in administration, every senior player has left the club.

14 months of uncertainty

  • Feb 2012: Portsmouth enter administration and are docked 10 points. Thirty staff including chief executive David Lampitt are made redundant.
  • March: The administrators of Portsmouth and Rangers hold talks about a friendly match to raise funds for the two financially troubled clubs. Administrator Trevor Birch reveals that the next four Premier League parachute payments will go to former owner Sacha Gaydamak.
  • April: Administrators of the club reveal debts of £58m and make several more staff redundant. Pompey are relegated from Championship. Trevor Birch says the club have a "50/50" chance of survival.
  • May: Former Portsmouth owner Balram Chainrai makes an offer to buy the club.
  • June: The Pompey Supporters' Trust opens talks with administrators of the club as manager Michael Appleton starts fire-sale of all senior players.
  • July: Appleton takes a youth team and unsigned players on pre-season tour of Gibraltar. Football League announces a further 10-point deduction.
  • August: Liam Lawrence becomes the last senior player to leave Pompey.
  • September: Pompey earn their first win in League One. Former Watford owner Laurence Bassini submits formal offer for the club. Former owner Sulaiman Al Fahim also confirms interest.
  • October: The PST is named 'preferred bidder' for the club. Appleton is linked to jobs at Burnley and Bolton.
  • November: Appleton leaves Portsmouth for Blackpool shortly before his one-year anniversary.
  • December: A High Court hearing to determine the future of Pompey and force the sale of Fratton Park is adjourned.
  • Jan 2013: Staff are forced to take a further pay cut while the Football League confirms the club will face a 10-point penalty when they exit administration. The latest court case is adjourned.
  • February: Keith Harris makes a late bid for the club but his offer for Pompey is rejected by the Football League.
  • March: A court date is announced to force the sale of Fratton Park.
  • April: Administrators of the club reach an out-of-court settlement with Portpin.

For the club to exit administration, settlements had to be reached with secured creditors as well as former owners Portpin.

Potential buyers included former owner Sulaiman Al Fahim, disgraced former Watford owner Laurence Bassini and Keith Harris, former head of failed investment bank Seymour Pearce.

But, as prospective owners came and went, the bid from the supporter-led consortium remained throughout.

Backed by several wealthy investors, including local businessman Iain McInnes, ordinary fans pledged £1,000 each to be part of the Trust.

Together, they raised nearly £3m, which was added to by a £1.45m bridging loan, as well as investment from their property partner Stuart Robinson.

The Trust has now taken control of the club, along with Fratton Park and the land surrounding the ground.

"What a momentous day!" said Ashley Brown, the PST chairman. "Once again Pompey fans have shown why they are some of the best in the land. We now have a club owned by people who truly love it, its fans. That's how football is supposed to be."

Trevor Birch, joint administrator of Portsmouth Football Club (2010) Ltd and partner at BDO LLP, said: "We have cleared the final hurdle: all of the paperwork has now been signed and the sale concluded.

"It has taken more than 14 months of hard work from all concerned to get here and there were many times over that period when I didn't think we would make it; but we have, and Portsmouth Football Club can once again look forward to the future with optimism.

"The PST has shown what can be achieved when fans unite together for the good of their community. The club has been through considerable turmoil over the last few years, and I hope it can now enjoy a period of stability and the chance to build solid foundations for a sustainable future based on hard work and honest endeavour."

McInnes, chairman of Portsmouth Community Football Club, said: "It has been a very difficult journey to get to this point but in the end we have achieved the right result. Now is the time for Pompey fans to get behind the club and we are looking forward to celebrating becoming a community club at Fratton Park this Saturday afternoon."

Portsmouth, two points off the bottom of League One and eight points adrift of safety with only two games left prior to their 10-point deduction, will play in League Two next season.

They face Sheffield United on Saturday and will announce a new management team on Monday.