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Portsmouth FC

Pompey’s one year in administration

A look at Portsmouth FC turbulent 12 months in administration

This time last year Portsmouth FC entered administration, 12 months that have seen every single senior player leave the club, 50 staff redundancies and the club’s relegation to League One.

After the year of turmoil on the South Coast the one thing keeping the club afloat is the Portsmouth Supporters’ Trust, who have been named the preferred bidder by the Football League to take over the club.

February 2012 saw Pompey enter administration for the second time in as many years, with a 10 point deduction to follow. Furthermore around 30 staff were forced to leave Fratton Park including Chief Executive David Lampitt.

Worse was to follow in April as the club revealed that they were in £58 million worth of debt, meaning further staff redundancies and the club’s relegation from the Championship.

The following two months saw former owner Balram Chainrai and the Portsmouth Supporters’ Trust declare their interest in the club. On the field, manager Michael Appleton was forced to start the fire sale of all of their senior players.

Things were worsened in July as the Football League imposed another 10 point deduction upon the club, meaning they would start their League One campaign on -10 points.

When the start of the season rolled around in August, Liam Lawrence, the only senior player left at the club, left for Welsh side Cardiff City. Despite the off the field turmoil Appleton’s young looking side started to claim the league with a number of well fought out wins.

Despite a bid from former Watford owner Laurence Bassini and interest from former owner Sulaimin Al Fahim, September saw the Football League name the Portsmouth Supporters’ Trust as the “preferred bidder.”

To those looking in on the club November could be seen as the catalyst to Portsmouth’s demise. Shortly before his one year anniversary at Pompey, manager Michael Appleton switched the South Coast for the West Coast, joining Championship side Blackpool. Guy Whittingham was handed the manager’s position.

Christmas at Pompey wasn’t full of joy either. Proceedings at the High Court to determine the future of Pompey and force the sale of Fratton Park from former owner Balram Chainrai was adjourned. To this present day the case is yet to be heard.

January 2013 at Portsmouth meant another round of staff pay cuts while the Football League confirmed that Pompey would face another 10 point deduction when they exited administration, almost sealing their spot in a relegation position come May.

During the month of February Portsmouth broke another record. On the field the club went 20 games without a win, which has now been stretched to 21 after their 1-1 draw with Carlisle at the weekend.

The latest from the club is that football financier Keith Harris has submitted a second bid for Portsmouth, giving a 15% stake to the club supporters, however the Football League has stated that it “remains focussed on a successful transfer of share to the preferred bidder, the Pompey Supporters’ Trust.”

Bottom of League One and with the future of Pompey in doubt, it has certainly been a rocky 12 months. Although with the Portsmouth Supporters’ Trust in prime position to take over, it seems as though the fate of Portsmouth FC lies in the High Courts.

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