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Mar 17, 2010

Portsmouth nine-point deduction confirmed

The Premier League has confirmed that Portsmouth have been deducted nine points after entering administration.

It leaves them 17 points off safety with nine games to play and all but confirms their relegation from the Premier League.

The penalty is in place for any top-flight clubs entering administration and, although administrator Andrew Andronikou contested the decision, no exception was made after the league held a meeting on Wednesday morning.

The Premier League said in a statement: "Following the High Court's decision that Portsmouth FC's administration is valid, the Premier League board convened today to apply the League's rules and policies in relation to a member club suffering an event of insolvency.

"As a result, Portsmouth FC has been deducted nine points with immediate effect. As part of this process, the board met with the administrator to agree how we will work together for the remainder of the season to ensure that the club is able fulfil its commitments."

Peter Storrie believes it is grossly unfair to dock Portsmouth nine points and send them down without a fight until the end of the season - hitting the fans and players, who he feels do not deserve to be relegated in this way.

Storrie, still acting as a consultant after quitting as chief executive, told Soccernet on Wednesday: "I am not sure this should have been done - it is terribly unfair on the club, the players and their fans, and they are they are the innocent parties. It was inevitable that it would happen and now they have done it."

Yet while there have been reports that Avram Grant is ready to walk out at the end of the season, Storrie feels that he may be willing to remain at Fratton Park.

"Avram loves the club, he loves the supporters and I don't believe it is a foregone conclusion that he will go," he said. "I know for a fact he will be offered a lot of jobs in the summer, because he has proved he can do it at the lower end of the Premier League as well as at a big club.

"A lot depends on the new owners, what happens in the next few weeks, the FA Cup. There is an element that could suggest that he might stay. You never know."

Storrie does not agree that the points deduction will mean the players will be demotivated for the run in.

"Avram won't let that happen and, besides, the players have a lot to play for - their futures and their pride. Most importantly, there is an FA Cup semi-final coming up, and they are playing for their places in the semi-finals, possibly even a final."

Andronikou, meanwhile, has told Soccernet that he wants to see even tighter controls on English clubs' spending.

"This is a reality check for everyone in the Premier League," he said. "The Premier League needs a mandatory audit of all their clubs finances before the season starts. The Premier League need to implement a transfer embargo before any problem clubs start spending what they cannot afford in the summer transfer window.

"There is no point deducting points, as they are doing with Portsmouth, with nine games of a season left to go. There is a big danger of distorting the season."

The administrator has reluctantly accepted the nine-point deduction knowing that, if it had not have gone through by the end of this month, the Football League would have docked ten points for the start of next season.

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