An overwhelming majority of Portsmouth FC‘s creditors have voted in favour of a deal that will most likely see the south coast club exit administration at some point this summer, and hopefully therefore save them from any further points deductions whilst playing in the Championship next season.
A total 81.3% of the creditors, who are owed a combined total of around £100 million, voted to implement a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) that will see them receive just 20p of every pound they are owed over the next five years.
One of the few groups to oppose the deal were HM Revenues & Customs (HMRC) who, after disputing the amount of money they are owed by the club, have been granted a further 28 days to lodge an appeal against the CVA being put in place.
HMRC are disputing Pompey administrator Andrew Andronikou‘s (possibly unsubstantiated) claim that he has reduced the amount the club owe them from £37 million to £24 million – confirming their stance in a brief statement;
“HMRC notes that the result of today’s vote was to accept the CVA proposals. We will now be carefully considering our position,” it said.
HMRC stands by the full amount of its claim (£37m). We will now carefully consider our position following (the club’s) decision to reduce the amount of our claim for voting purposes.”
The fact that HRMC still have an opportunity to foil Portsmouth’s re-emergence from the doledrums of their recent financial plight is a minor sticking point, in what has otherwise been a positive day for the club and it’s supporters.
Chairman of the Pompey supporters’ club Nigel Tresidder attended the creditors meeting and said that, although he remains concerned over the HRMC’s opposition to the CVA, today really was a step forward for the club in it’s bid to get back into the black;
“[The vote] is excellent news, other than HMRC have 28 days to appeal against it.
I think the people in charge of the club are confident of winning any appeal but it’s time the uncertainty came to an end.”
Tresidder and lead administrator Andronikou (amongst others) will now continue their search to find a new buyer for the Portsmouth which, with approximately 60% of the club’s debt effectively wiped away, should not continue to be quite such the thankless task it appeared to be at this time yesterday.