Pompey yet to be served


LONDON, March 23 – Cash-strapped crisis club Portsmouth have yet to be fined by the English Premier League fine for rule breaches this season, a spokesman told AFP on Monday.Reports on Britain’s national Press Association wire, and in some British newspapers, suggested the bottom of the table club had already been fined in the region of one million pounds for breaching league rules.

However, an EPL spokesman told AFP on Monday that no such punishment had been levied adding a widely circulated quote, attributed to the league, that indicated Pompey had been fined, "had not come from us".

Portsmouth were effectively condemned to relegation last week when the EPL imposed a nine-point penalty for the south coast club’s entry into administration.

The EPL spokesman told AFP that there were a number of offences, such as late payment of wages to playing – something that has happened four times since August at Portsmouth – and late payment of outstanding transfer cash, for which clubs could be fined under league rules.

But he added no such action had been taken against Portsmouth.

Despite debts of some 65 million pounds, Portsmouth are in the semi-finals of this season’s FA Cup – a tournament they won in 2008 – where they will face either Fulham or Tottenham, while on Saturday they defeated fellow strugglers Hull City 3-2 at Fratton Park.

But even after that win, Portsmouth were still 11 points behind second-bottom Hull with just eight league games left this season.