views

Andronikou clueless over mystery fee

PORTSMOUTH administrator Andrew Andronikou says he does not understand how the crisis club owe £1m to Tottenham for goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Pompey’s accounts, published yesterday, list the sum as a sell-on fee owed to Spurs, despite the fact that Begovic has at no stage been a Tottenham player.

It is understood that Spurs originally agreed a combined fee for the signing of defender Younes Kaboul and Begovic during the January transfer window. Kaboul completed his move to White Hart Lane but Begovic eventually chose to join Stoke instead for a fee of £3.25m.

A spokesperson for Tottenham told City A.M. the £1m fee in question was “not strictly a sell-on” and was because they had originally negotiated a combined fee. The amount remains outstanding.

Andronikou, however, said yesterday the fee “needs an explanation”, adding that he plans to investigate the circumstances surrounding it.

“I don’t understand it, and I would say it does need understanding,” said Andronikou, of UHY Hacker Young.

“I have forensic abilities to find out exactly what this is all about, and I plan to utilise them. I need to resolve how this came about and why it came about. At the moment, I would only say it is one of the nuances thrown up by all the debts, but this is one in need of an explanation.

“For now I am giving everyone the benefit of the doubt until I receive a full explanation. Put it this way, it sure it sticks out.”

The £1m Begovic fee represents just a fraction of the Premier League club’s total debt of £119m. The figure is far higher than previous estimates, which had put the debt at around £90m.

The bottom-of-the-table club are already condemned to relegation, but, despite their financial woes, have reached next month’s FA Cup final.

PORTSMOUTH | DEBT DOSSIER

Portsmouth’s 70-page debt report to creditors was published yesterday, laying bare their financial disarray.

Debt
•The club’s total debt stands at £119m

•£38.2m is in unsecured loans to owners past and present, with current owner Balram Chainrai owed £14.5m

•HM Revenue and Customs is owed £17.1m in tax and National Insurance

•£17.3m is outstanding transfer fees, including money for Glen Johnson, Sulley Muntari and Jermain Defoe – who have all since left the club

•Agents and scouts are owed £9.7m, including more than £2m to so-called super agent Pini Zahavi

•Nine players, including departed trio Sol Campbell, Sulley Muntari and Niko Kranjcar, are owed £3m in image rights

Since administration
•Two club shops have been closed

•85 staff have been made redundant and all others have agreed pay cuts

•No formal offers have been made for the club, despite rumoured interest

•Negotiations have begun and are ongoing for the sale of two players

•Administrators have charged more than £200,000, or £196.40 per hour