Pompey wave goodbye to Europe

FA Cup finalists add to misery of relegation by losing place in Europa League.

    In their pomp: Portsmouth played in the now-defunct Uefa Cup last season [GALLO/GETTY]

    Portsmouth will not play in next season's Europa League after English football authorities said that they will not support the relegated Premier League club's belated application for a Uefa license.

    Pompey qualified to play in Europe by reaching this month's FA Cup final because opponents Chelsea have already secured a Champions League berth.

    But the club has not applied for the necessary license and may not have secured one anyway because their debt of more than $154 million is likely to have breached Uefa's financial regulations.

    "The FA (Football Association) and Premier League have confirmed to the administrators of Portsmouth Football Club that they shall not consider any late application for granting of a Uefa Club License for the 2010-11 season," the FA and Premier League said in a joint statement.

    The south-coast club did not make an initial application and would have had to prove to Uefa by May 31 that it was a solvent business.

    England's extra Europa League spot will instead go to the seventh-placed Premier League team – currently Liverpool.

    The firm running Portsmouth and trying to keep them in business announced the size of debt on Wednesday, with the total including $1.54 million owed to Premier League rivals Tottenham over the aborted January transfer of Asmir Begovic.

    Tottenham said on Thursday that the administrators were wrong to say the amount was a sell-on fee, claiming instead that it was a deposit they had paid to secure the goalkeeper's signing.

    SOURCE: Associated Press


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