Monday, February 26, 2018

26 February 2010 - No Safe Harbor For Portsmouth

On 26 February 2010, Portsmouth earned the dubious distinction of becoming the first Premier League club to go into administration.

The move came in the middle of an already difficult season for the two-time league champions and 2008 FA Cup winners. Under previous manager Paul Hart, they had hit the bottom of the table with a loss to Manchester City at the end of the previous August. Despite former Chelsea manager Avram Grant stepping in to replace Hart in November, they remained dead last for the remainder of the season.

The club's situation was exacerbated by financial problems. Despite the sale of the club to Saudi Arabian businessman Ali al-Faraj in October 2009, Portsmouth failed to pay their players in November and December. Then in February, after al-Faraj failed to make a loan payment to Hong King businessman Balram Chainrai, the club changed hands again, with Chainrai becoming the new owner.

Concerned by the club's debts, estimated to be about £135 million, Chainrai voluntarily placed the club into administration in order to avoid liquidation.The move did little to help the club's Premier League fortunes, however, as the league docked them nine points which virtually guaranteed their relegation at the end of the season.

They dropped into the Championship for the 2010-11 season. In February 2012, they went into administration again and were later relegated into League One, then dropped into League Two the following year. They returned to League One in 2017 and are currently sitting ninth in the table.

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