The Football League have given League One side Portsmouth permission to start the 2012-13 season, despite their future being far from clear. With the South Coast club still in administration, and prospective owner Portpin having pulled out of a deal to buy the club earlier this week, their only hope is for the Portsmouth Supporters Trust to do a deal with the club.
The League have also confirmed that Portsmouth's ten point deduction will not be enacted until they come out of administration. A number of reports at the time of the League's offer of membership to Pompey appeared to suggest that the deduction had already been made. The League have said that this will only happen once the agreed CVA process has been concluded and the club comes out of administration. Because they have yet to complete that process, Portsmouth will commence the season on zero points.
The Football League's statement issued this afternoon says:
"The League will continue working with the administrator in an effort to secure the future of the club. Given the ongoing dialogue between the administrator and the Supporters' Trust, the Board has given its consent to Portsmouth beginning the new season in administration.
"The club will start on zero points, with the conditions of membership announced at the Board's previous meeting - including a 10-point deduction - not coming into effect unless and until the club exits administration."
Pompey administrator Trevor Birch claims that the club will request that the League re-reviews the planned points deduction when they come out of administration, although this seems a folorn hope, given that the CVA proposals plan to junk the original CVA agreement that was set up in 2009. As a breach of the League's insolvency rules, the deduction is in line with similar deductions made to clubs such as Rotherham United, who went through two CVAs in a short space of time.
Portsmouth also appear to have been given the green light to sign new players, given that their wage bill has been brought down somewhat by the departure of eight of their high earners. The BBC Sport website expects boss Michael Appleton to sign up the likes of former Glovers transfer target Izale McLeod and former Glovers striker Luke Rodgers, plus Mustapha Dumbuya, Jon Harley, Brian Howard, Jack Compton, Kieran Djilali and Liam Walker.
Appleton is also looking at the loan market, with former Glovers loan midfielder Conor Clifford, plus Reading keeper Mikkel Anderson, West Ham goalkeeper Peter Kurucz and Celtic defender Josh Thompson all ear-marked for recruitment as soon as they get the green light. At present Pompey's only registered players come from their Academy side - they finished their League Cup midweek match at Plymouth Argyle with all outfield players aged 18 years or under.
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