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Portsmouth's day in court to be moved forward

Wed 21st Jul 2010 | Football Club Administration

Portsmouth Football Club should learn whether they will exit administration before the start of the season after the court agreed to speed up HM's Revenue and Customs' appeal process.

According to the BBC, HMRC lodged papers on Monday in an attempt to prevent the club coming out of administration.

"We've been in court to seek an expedited process” Portsmouth chief executive David Lampitt told BBC Radio Solent:

"I understand the court has agreed to that, which means we should have the hearing before the season's start."

Lampitt continued: "I'm yet to hear about the date for that hearing, but we should know within the next 24 hours."

A Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) was approved last month which would mean unsecured creditors would be repaid 20p in the pound, but HMRC appealed against the decision.

They claimed that the amount of money that they are owed is sufficient to allow them to block the CVA, and thwart the club's attempts to escape administration.

Andrew Andronikou, the club's administrator, said he had expected HMRC to appeal against the decision and had feared that the case may not have been heard until October or November.

The delay in the decision would mean the club would remain under a transfer embargo for the first two months of the season. However, this latest ruling should now ensure that the club will hear its fate before the start of the Championship season on 7 August.

"We have been trying to get the appeal process heard as quickly as possible," continued Lampitt.

"Obviously we believe that it's firmly in everyone's interests for that to happen, but in particular for the future of the club."

For a CVA to be agreed, it must win the support of those owed at least 75% of the unsecured debt. The vote on 17 June saw the agreement win 81.3% of the vote.

But HMRC argues that £13m of debt was left out of the original calculations; if the £13m figure is included, says the HMRC, it would then have more than the 25% of the debt it needs to block the CVA.

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