Portsmouth to appeal for Euro licence reprieve

PORTSMOUTH are to make a desperate plea to the Football Association to allow them play in Europe next season.

The relegated south-coast club secured a place in next season’s Europa League after winning through to the FA Cup final against Chelsea on 15 May with victory over Tottenham on Sunday.

But with the club in administration, Portsmouth are not allowed to apply for a required Uefa club licence and have subsequently missed the 1 March deadline.

However, club administrator Andrew Andronikou says playing in Europe will make the club a more attractive proposition to any potential new owner and insists he will try everything possible to bring European football back to Fratton Park for next season.

“I think it is vitally important we explore all possibilities of getting the club into Europe,” Andronikou said.

“It speaks for itself, it will be a fantastic achievement for the club to play in Europe next year and obviously make it a more attractive proposition for any interested party.”

If successful, Portsmouth would take their place in the Europa League as FA Cup winners with Chelsea almost guaranteed qualification for next year’s Champions League.

And it will prove a vital source of income for Pompey as relegation from the Premier League this season means they will live off receive parachute payments for next year. “It will be an uphill struggle in terms of making the appeal but nevertheless we will try,” Andronikou added.

Meanwhile, Andronikou has also confirmed that Portsmouth will enter into discussions with French club Lens in order to allow striker Aruna Dindane to play again this season. As part of his contract, Dindane is allowed to play 21 games for Pompey, but a 22nd appearance would trigger a £4m payment.

Dindane played his 21st game in the semi-final win over Spurs at Wembley on Sunday, but Andronikou is confident the clubs will reach an agreement for the Frenchman to play on.

“I’m sure they will see it is in the interest of the club, themselves and the player for there to be a compromise,” he added.