Pompey possibly two months from administration exit

LONDON - Premier League Portsmouth could come out of administration in six to eight weeks, administrator Andrew Andronikou said on Tuesday after a High Court winding up order was suspended.

The troubled club was back in the High Court to address revenues and customs concerns about the process in which it entered administration last month - a move that prevented it folding up under a mountain of debt.

"The hearing occurred and the administration continues as normal," Andronikou told Reuters by telephone. "The cloud has been lifted. We had to go to court as a reference point but the administration has now been rubber-stamped."

Andronikou, who last week announced 85 redundancies at the club which is bottom of the Premier League, said the winding up order would be removed once the club came out of administration.

"I think that will be in six to eight weeks," Andronikou said, adding that on Monday he had met Cheshire-based millionaire Rob Lloyd who is heading a consortium interested in buying Portsmouth.

"I met him last night and set out a few ground rules and we have agreed a way forward," Andronikou said. "There are still some boxes for him to tick."

HM Revenue and Customs' formal acceptance of Portsmouth's administration means the club is almost certain to be docked nine points under Premier League rules but Andronikou said he would fight against such a move.

"The odds are stacked against us," he said. "I feel that other clubs feel that we should take our medicine but I feel that we should be judged on results on the pitch.

"Yes, it is a Premier League rule but that rule has never been tested and that's what I will do."

If Portsmouth are relegated and do not come out of administration they would also incur a 10-point Football League penalty, which Andronikou said would be a "disaster."

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