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Arsenal can lay down a marker

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Pompey handed new penalty

Portsmouth have been told they can begin the League One season if they accept a ten-point penalty.

Portsmouth, who were also docked ten points last season after entering administration for the second time in two years, have been in administration since February and are still seeking a new owner.

They began pre-season training with only eight senior players following relegation from the Championship last season. Of those eight, Hayden Mullins has since joined Birmingham.

They have been granted admission to the Football League but only on acceptance of a number of conditions, including the ten-point penalty.

A Football League statement read: "The board of the Football League has agreed to make an offer of membership to the eventual purchaser of Portsmouth Football Club.

"The offer is subject to the successful bidder accepting a number of conditions that seek to ensure the sporting integrity of league football and the financial viability of the club going forward."

Administrator Trevor Birch said Pompey would seek to get the decision reversed.

He said: "We are extremely disappointed that the Football League has decided to impose yet another penalty on the club.

"We've made it clear to the League that Portsmouth needs all the help it can get at the moment, which makes today's decision very harsh.

"We will have further discussions with the League in order to explore whether we can give them more comfort, particularly with regards to the old CVA creditors, and thereby have the decision reversed in respect of a points deduction.

"We will continue to do all we can to give Portsmouth the best possible chance of survival."

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