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Judge called for "fresh view" on making Pompey decision 29 February 2012

“Evident creditor disquiet” was at the heart of the contentious decision to rebuff UHY Hacker Young’s bid to handle the administration of Portsmouth FC.

The High Court has published Mr Justice Norris’ controversial verdict to award the struggling club’s administration to rivals PKF.

After having taken the reins of the south coast side after it last fell into administration in 2010 Andrew Andronikou, of UHY, was the favourite to land the job again.

But Andronikou – who is also the administrator for Portsmouth’s parent company – lost out after Norris ruled his appointment would cause “an inherent conflict” of interests.

Norris also raised concerns the “same route that was followed last time” would be repeated without dealing with “the real underlying problem” behind the club’s financial difficulties.

On making the ruling Norris – who described Portsmouth’s financial position as “bleeding” but “getting a regular transfusion” – said: “There is evident creditor disquiet at the proposal that Mr Andronikou should yet again be appointed administrator.

“Is it time for a fresh view? What is proposed this time round seems to be exactly what was proposed last time round, without addressing what the real underlying problem seems to be.

“The attempt is to find new owners who will inject their own funds to make good the trading losses of the club.

“One would think that the real emphasis should be on reducing the trading losses of the club to turn it into a viable trading business.

“Perhaps a fresh view is called for in relation to looking at the business itself.”

The appointment of Trevor Birch, of PKF, to handle the club’s affairs has led to UHY issuing a formal complaint to the ICAEW.

UHY have insisted PKF are also conflicted for having undertaken previous audit and due diligence work with both Portsmouth and its parent company.

But making the decision Norris added: “I can understand why they (the creditors) would want an administrator who plainly stands well outside the cosy club of former owners and current owners.”

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