Football League allows Portsmouth to begin on zero points

By Nabil HassanBBC Sport
Fratton Park

Portsmouth have been given special dispensation by the Football League to start the season on zero points despite being in administration.

Football League rules state that clubs who begin a season in administration start on -10 points.

But Pompey will now be penalised as and when they exit administration.

However, administrator Trevor Birch said he was hopeful of avoiding a points deduction altogether, once a takeover of the club was complete.

"I'm encouraged by the League's decision to postpone any possible points deduction until it receives an application for membership by the Trust," said Birch in a statement.

"At that stage, the application will be accompanied by a request for a review of the points deduction."

The Football League announced in July that Pompey would begin the new season with a points deduction.

They also imposed other financial restrictions on the club who are said to be £58m in debt.

Portsmouth were relegated from the Championship last season after being deducted 10 points after going into administration for the second time in three years.

On Tuesday Pompey began their season with a 3-0 defeat by Plymouth in the Capital One Cup and fielded a near youth team consisting of nine players under the age of 19.

They are due to begin their League One season on Saturday with the visit of Bournemouth to Fratton Park.

Portsmouth's administrator Birch is currently in talks with the Pompey Supporters' Trust who remain the club's last hope of avoiding liquidation.

The PST are attempting to complete a takeover of the stricken club, who have been in administration since February.

"The League will continue working with the administrator in an effort to secure the future of the club," the Football League said in a statement.

"Given the ongoing dialogue between the administrator and the Supporters' Trust, the Board has given its consent to Portsmouth beginning the new season in administration.

"The club will start on zero points, with the conditions of membership announced at the Board's previous meeting - including a 10-point deduction - not coming into effect unless and until the club exits administration."