Andronikou slams 'shambolic' decision

BY foxsports • April 22, 2010

A joint statement from the Football Association and Premier League said they would not consider a late application from Portsmouth for a UEFA club licence due to their financial problems. However, Andronikou said Portsmouth are refusing to accept defeat and would go to UEFA to try to gain a place in the competition. He also expressed his anger that the FA and Premier League had not told the club of their decision first and they had only found out through the media. Andronikou said: "We are very disappointed all round. "Last week they were asking us to prepare an application and now they are saying they won't consider one, but that's not going to deter us. "I know our chances are pretty remote if the Premier League and FA say they won't consider it but we are still going to make our case and explore all possibilities for the club. "We will go to UEFA and explore every avenue before we admit defeat. "We are still a member of the Premier League for a few more weeks at least and they should be championing us. "I think it's quite a shambles. There are rules and regulations but there is also football protocol and the way they have approached this subject means they must have made a significant U-turn in the last 24 hours." Andronikou said he only found out about the decision from watching television. He added: "I hadn't heard a dicky bird about it, it was quite surreal." Portsmouth would have qualified to play in Europe next season after reaching the FA Cup final against Chelsea, who will be in the Champions League. The decision means that the team who finish seventh in the Premier League - currently Liverpool - would play in the Europa League instead. A joint statement from the FA and Premier League read: "The FA and Premier League have confirmed to the administrators of Portsmouth Football Club that they shall not consider any late application for granting of a UEFA Club Licence for the 2010-11 season." UEFA had said Portsmouth could submit a late application before May 31 but the Premier League and FA believe Portsmouth's financial situation - their debts total £119million - is so bad that they would not meet any of the criteria. The administrators do not expect the club to go into a company voluntary agreement (CVA) until June 6, while the fact that so much money is owed to clubs, other football creditors and HM Customs and Revenues also goes against them. There was also a strong feeling at the FA and Premier League that one of the reasons the UEFA club licence was set up was to try to prevent clubs being run as badly as Portsmouth have been. Andronikou believes the ruling is unfair on Pompey fans, adding: "It's wrong for the fans that they should not be allowed to support their club in Europe next season. "It's a very sad day for them and sad for football generally." It is understood that the FA and the Premier League wrote to the administrators late last week to inform them any application would not be considered. Both organisations are convinced that UEFA would not accept any application such are the state of Portsmouth's finances.