Fratton Park club on the brink.
“Portsmouth Football Club is extremely disappointed to report that it has not yet managed to achieve the exit from Administration, despite the extensive efforts of the Football League, NewCo, the Administrators and their various legal advisors.
“The process has been extremely complicated and there has been a team of people working night and day to get the deal done.
“The most difficult aspect has been trying to achieve agreement with Alexandre Gaydamak after the remaining parties have agreed the deal and executed the necessary documents, namely the new owners, the Administrators, the Football League and the creditors.
“Unfortunately, despite the new owners fulfilling all the requirements of the Football League and the creditors, and agreeing and signing up to the required terms of the purchase of the club, at the 11th hour the goalposts have been moved by Mr Gaydamak and this has now made the deal impossible to complete.
“Put simply, despite being offered full payment for the secured part of his debt in accordance with the financial plan approved by the Football League, this morning Mr Gaydamak has demanded a very significant upfront cash payment in order to allow the deal to proceed by releasing his security.
“All this is in spite of his lawyers going to Paris this morning specifically for the purpose of witnessing his signature to the document agreed yesterday.
“It is neither in the interests of the club nor its unsecured creditors for such a ransom payment to be made, particularly where the payment is being demanded by one of the authors of the club’s current circumstances.
“In addition, and equally importantly, all of the business plans submitted and approved by the Football League would be fundamentally damaged by such a requirement placed on the club by Mr Gaydamak.
“We will provide further information as soon as possible.
“However, it appears likely that the club will now be closed down and liquidated by the Administrators as they are unable to support the continued trading of the club.
“We would like to thank the Football League in particular for their support and assistance through this difficult process. All other parties had managed to reach agreement.”
The statement continued: “This has now been undermined by the self-interested actions of one individual. Mr Gaydamak has provided confirmation several times that terms were agreed. However, he has continually changed his position in an attempt to exploit the goodwill of the other parties to the transaction.
“By now doing this he has shown complete disregard for the supporters, the club and the City of Portsmouth, who had granted him freedom of the city in 2008.
“His earlier comments when the club went into Administration about doing everything possible to save the club’s future do not appear to reflect his current actions.” (Official Portsmouth Statement)
This could well be the beginning of the end and the actions of former owner Alexandre Gaydamak may well be the death knell for the 112 year old club and unless the Russian businessman relents the south coast club could well cease to exist.
Oddly enough Portsmouth were beginning to get things together on the field of play with four wins from five but it may all be for nought. Given that the other big news story of the day concerned a certain Wayne Rooney holding a club to ransom over the want of an even more obscene pay packet than the one he already had, this really does highlight the huge gap that exists in the game.
One can only hope that the Fratton Park club does manage to persuade Gaydamak to change his mind but I have a horrible feeling that is doomed to failure.