We’ll go bust if we lose in court, say Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH say they could go out of business if they lose their court case against the tax authorities today.

HM Revenue & Customs are challenging a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) to allow the club to come out of administration, claiming it is owed £13m more than the £24m stated by the club’s administrators.

And Portsmouth’s lawyer, Richard Sheldon QC, says that if HMRC wins its appeal, the club will “not be able to give the Football League the assurances it needs to fulfil its fixtures” in this season’s Championship, which gets underway on Saturday.

“It will go out of the league,” Sheldon said. “The club will probably be liquidated.”

Sheldon earlier told the court that Premier League clubs wanted “to boot Pompey out there and then” last season on hearing the full extent of their financial problems, adding it was only the intervention of Premier League chief Richard Scudamore that saved the club.

“The clubs wanted Portsmouth to go to the wall and divide all the TV money among themselves,” he added.

High Court judge Mr Justice Mann, overseeing the tax liability case, is expected to deliver his final verdict this afternoon.