Pompey future heavily in doubt
Portsmouth's future is in the taxman's hands as the club again appears in court.
By Hayley Paterson
Last Updated: 01/08/10 7:34pm
Portsmouth's future lies in the hands of the taxman as the club prepares for another court appearance.
The Championship club's existence will again come under threat on Tuesday when the proposed Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) is challenged in the High Court by the taxman.
After a difficult 2009/10, the club's pre-season tour was also problematic with heavy defeats in the US, injuries and disrupted travel plans.
However, Portsmouth administrator Andrew Andronikou does not believe any more additions will be made to the squad despite the recent transfer of goalkeeper David James to Bristol City.
"I don't think the club will be buying players for a while," he told The Sunday Telegraph.
"Basically the club is lucky to be where it is - it has been given a second chance and no-one should be too concerned if the club has the best squad at this moment in time. What matters is securing the club's recovery."
That process has been frustrated following an appeal from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) against the CVA that was agreed in June.
HMRC is challenging the rule whereby football creditors are given preference over other companies and individuals who are owed money.
It also disputes the level of Portsmouth's debt which reportedly stands at £24 million. It is understood that it is claiming a further £13 million in respect of image rights for players that was paid into offshore companies.
"How the closure of a football club is in the best interests of taxpayers or the creditors is difficult to understand," said Andronikou.
"It seems HMRC would rather lose £6 million and let the club die to make their point. There is someone somewhere along the line, who has lost all perspective."
Amid the turmoil new boss Steve Cotterill has labelled his new role as an 'impossible task' however has been trying to leave the problems off the field as he prepares his wafer-thin squad for Saturday's match against Coventry.
However midfielder Michael Brown is worried about the coming season and said the club needs to recruit soon despite its financial difficulties.
"We need five or six players to come into the team. In fact, I think seven is more realistic," said the 33-year-old.
"These kids are not ready. In the Championship we need players who are ready to get straight in."