By Nick Harris
12 April 2010
Portsmouth will make a minimum of £2.2m from prize money and payments from their sponsors as a result of winning yesterday’s FA Cup semi-final, the club’s administrator, Andrew Andronikou, has told sportingintelligence today, and that figure will rise to £3.2m if they beat Chelsea in the final.
This income should help to alleviate some of the pressing problems related to bonuses due to players, but Andronikou says the “different and varied” player contracts, each with unique clauses that trigger specific payments for certain events, are proving “a nightmare” to handle.
Andronikou has also confirmed that he will ask the Football Association to apply on Portsmouth’s behalf for a place in Europe next season that should be theirs by right, but he accepts the appeal is a “long shot” with little hope of success.
“The club makes £450,000 from the FA in prize money for winning the semi, and is guaranteed £900,000 more from the final, that’s the runners-up cash if Portsmouth lost,” Andronikou said.
“So that’s £1.35m, and then there will be £600,000 to £800,000 on top from commercial income, including sponsors’ bonuses kicking in, and when you add merchandising and other bits, we think reaching the final will make £2.2m, and that would rise to £3.2m if Portsmouth won the Cup.”
The flip side of the successful Cup run is that all Pompey’s players have bonus payments written into their contracts. “That’s all the players,” Andronikou told this website, emphasising that the bonuses go beyond half a dozen unnamed players with the biggest bonus deals, of between £50,000 and £100,000 each for playing in the FA Cup final.
“Some players have clauses for making Europe, some for reaching the Cup final or winning it,” Andronikou said. “All the players have incentivised contracts, not just some. Nothing is standardised, that’s part of the problem. We’re in ongoing negotiations with players, agents and everyone concerned and it’s a nightmare trying to work it all out.
“But we’ll sit down with Avram [Grant, Pompey’s manager] and we hope we’ll be able to work things out so that Portsmouth can field the strongest possible team in the final.”
An added complication is that when some of Pompey’s players reach a certain number of appearances, extra payments are triggered, either to the player or another club. The most dramatic example is that of striker Aruna Dindane. The Ivorian has made 21 appearances in all competitions this season on loan from Lens, and a 22nd appearance would trigger a £4m payment to his French club. Dindane is one of five first-team regulars on loan this season. Andronikou hopes Lens will waive the £4m fee.
Portsmouth’s relegation to the Championship has now been mathematically assured but the club could still play in Europe next season if they manage to get a Uefa licence. Andronikou calls it a “long shot” because there is no point applying before they come out of administration (which in effect prevents a licence being issued) and no immediate prospect of new owners, although talks are ongoing with interested parties.
The Premier League’s top four clubs qualify for the Champions League. The fifth-placed club enter the Europa League, as do the Carling Cup winners. If the Carling Cup winners have already qualified for Europe (as Manchester United will do), the Carling Cup place reverts to the next best team in the Premier League.
The FA Cup winners also qualify for the Europa League, or if they have qualified, the runners-up get to Europe instead. If Chelsea win the Cup, Portsmouth should be in Europe, but if they have no licence, the seventh side in the Premier League will get into Europe instead. At the moment that club is Aston Villa.