Is this the end of Portsmouth?

Sadly it looks as though the end might have come for Portsmouth FC and they may be the first Football League club to go out of existence since 1992. Talks between the club and former owner Sacha Gaydamak have broken down over how the money Gaydamak is owed by the club should be paid back in order for the club to exit administration.
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Gaydamak is a secured creditor, so is guaranteed some money. It seems as though Portsmouth had come up with a repayment plan only for Gaydamak to demand the club paid him in full upfront. If this was paid it would endanger the club’s ability to trade and it looks at present as if this may mean the administrators liquidating the club.
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Portsmouth entered into administration in February with debts of £120m and had been in dire financial straits for some time. Players’ wages were being paid late, at one stage of the season the wages were not paid on time 4 times in five months, and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (the UK’s tax agency) had filed winding-up petitions in court to reclaim unpaid taxes of £15m.
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Because of their poor financial situation, Portsmouth were awarded a 9-point penalty upon entering administration and this left them too far behind in the league to recover and they were relegated.
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The club had been trying to come out of administration but the football league recently rejected their plan. "Despite the new owners fulfilling all the requirements of the Football League and the creditors, and agreeing and signing up to the required terms of the purchase of the club, at the 11th hour the goalposts have been moved by Gaydamak," said Portsmouth in a statement>>
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Administrator Andrew Andronikou added: "We've reached a serious impasse in our negotiations with Sacha Gaydamak and until we can reach agreement with him there is a significant risk that the club will have to be liquidated. >>
"We have agreed terms with every other party involved but there is now this new obstacle that must be cleared. We are trying to get Sacha Gaydamak to see sense. >>
"I'm hopeful that within the next 24 hours we can get the parties around the table and we can renegotiate to everyone's satisfaction”>>
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Hopefully this is just a bit of brinkmanship by Portsmouth. They may be hoping that the public pressure on Gaydamak will force him to change his mind and accept more reasonable terms.
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Unfortunately it looks as though Portsmouth fans are going to be the innocent victims of some horrifying financial mismanagement by those in charge of the club. Portsmouth spent big in order to try and win, and they did win the FA Cup. However, the club paid more in transfer fees and wages than they could really afford.
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Former manager Harry Redknapp is getting blamed by some for saddling the club with mediocre players on massive contacts, such as John Utaka, who ended up being a fringe player whilst reportedly getting paid £80,000 a week (Utaka denies this, saying he only makes about a third of that, but even so that would be close to £27,000 a week, a ludicrous sum for a Championship club). It would be too simplistic to blame Redknapp though, as even if he was reckless in the transfer market, he didn’t act alone, someone had to rubberstamp his deals. It was reported at one time Portsmouth’s player wages were costing the club 90% of its turnover, an unsustainable figure.
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The fans deserve much better than the situation they are in. Portsmouth’s fans were known for being amongst the loudest and most fervent supporters in the country and Fratton Park was renowned for it’s atmosphere. Also, the gallows humour and general good grace that the fans displayed last season when their troubles were laid bare endeared them to many.
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Portsmouth made a rocky start to the season, but have started to turn things around and move up the table. They are currently on a five-match unbeaten run, picking up 13 points in that time. Portsmouth are due to play Hull tomorrow (Saturday 23rd) and that game is expected to go ahead.
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Colin Farmery from the Portsmouth Supporters Club says, “ The atmosphere has been very good lately because we're on the up on the field. It's been off the field that we've had all the problems and this is perhaps going to be the death knell of the club." >>
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I really hope it isn’t.