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Sunday 17 December 2017

Administrator upbeat on Pompey sale

Portsmouth administrator Andrew Andronikou remains confident a deal can be struck to sell the debt-ridden club.

Pompey went into administration on Friday with estimated debts of £78m, including an outstanding tax bill of £12.1m.

There has been some interest from New Zealand businessman Victor Cattermole and Andronikou is optimistic a deal can be struck with a buyer. Yesterday's High Court appearance, at which a judge ordered another hearing in a fortnight's time to ascertain whether the administrator was validly appointed, has no bearing on current plans, according to Andronikou.

"Everything is going according to plan and falling into place. The most important thing now is to sell the club," he said.

"It is very positive. I had meetings yesterday. I made the bold statement that I need proof of funds before I talk and that is happening now. I've not only got to sell the club, I've got to sell it to the right people."

Yesterday Mr Justice Norris insisted the "shadow over the appointment (of the administrator) should be removed" after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs expressed concerns about the validity of the appointment.

He also directed Portsmouth to provide evidence of "each and every sum" which Portpin -- the company of Hong Kong businessman Balram Chainrai, who has a controlling interest in the club -- lent to the club and also "full particulars" of any money paid to Portpin and Mr Chainrai by the club.

Andronikou said that was, specifically, a matter for Portsmouth the company, and his job of selling the club would continue unaffected. "HMRC have a right to ask questions and we have answers so we are moving on as normal," he said.

Andronikou had a meeting scheduled with the Premier League yesterday, at which he hoped to persuade them to waive the nine-point deduction for entering administration, but that was postponed in light of the High Court hearing. The Premier League is now considering the comments of the judge before deciding how to proceed.

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