Portsmouth enters administration

Portsmouth enters administration

Published Feb. 26, 2010 10:53 a.m. ET

Portsmouth became the first Premier League team to enter financial administration on Friday, allowing the insolvent business protection from its creditors as it attempts to restructure.

The bottom club in the world's richest league was granted bankruptcy protection less than two years after winning the FA Cup,

"At 10:20am today Portsmouth Football Club was placed into administration following the filing of a notice of appointment at the High Court," the club said on its Web site.

Relegation to the second-tier is a near-certainty, with the nine-point penalty that administration brings leaving manager Avram Grant's team 17 points from safety.

After Portsmouth's fourth owner this season was unable to clear debts of around 70 million pounds ($105 million), administrator Andrew Andronikou will try to strike deals with creditors and could cancel players' contracts.

FIFA is set to discuss the plight of the 112-year-old club at its next executive committee meeting on March 18.

Pompey have been in administration once before, in December 1998, when Milan Mandaric bought the then-second tier club.

Mandaric invested heavily in the team and it returned to the top flight in 2003, but the south-coast club overspent on player transfers and salaries. It won the 2008 FA Cup for its first major title since 1950 but has since imploded financially.