League funds to help Portsmouth finish season

Crisis-hit Championship club Portsmouth should be able to complete the season after the Football League agreed on Wednesday to release up to 800,000 pounds in funds.

Portsmouth are bottom of the second tier in English football after going into administration and losing 10 points last month.

Administrator Trevor Birch had warned last week that they may fold before the end of the season but has now found the club some breathing space after the League agreed to resume a series of monthly payments.

"For clubs in the Championship, they amount to around 200,000 pounds a month," Birch said in a statement.

"The League has confirmed that we will receive the four outstanding payments for the current season as and when they fall due, subject to any outstanding balances owed to other clubs.

"This money will go a long way towards plugging the club's financial gap and allowing us to complete the season."

Birch, from accounting firm PKF, said the club might have to loan other players after allowing captain Liam Lawrence to join championship rivals Cardiff City.

He stressed that the agreement did not guarantee the survival of a club that was in the Premier League two years ago and that finding a buyer remained a priority.

Portsmouth ran into financial problems in November when owner Vladimir Antonov was arrested on fraud charges relating to a Lithuanian bank.

The club's struggles mirror those of Scottish champions Rangers who are also in administration and facing a battle for survival.